SAN DIEGO (May 28, 2020) — News 8 and Kyle Kraska are partnering with the American Red Cross to host the Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive on Tuesday, June 16, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., at Pechanga Arena, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd.
In addition, the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego and North County Food Banks will hold a food drive in the parking lot of the Pechanga Arena. Volunteers will collect non-perishable food items at both entrances to the arena from Sports Arena Blvd. (next to Chili’s/Chick-fil-A or next to Summit Gas Station) from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Those who wish to donate can simply drive by and toss their food items into the bins from the safety of their car. For a list of items needed, go to sandiegofoodbank.org. KK’s Heroes is also hosting a virtual food drive. To donate food items or to make a monetary donation, click on the link.
In times of need, people come together to support one another. “Time and time again, San Diego has answered the call when our blood supply becomes critically low,” said Kyle Kraska, sports director, NEWS 8. “Now, COVID-19 has also presented challenges for our San Diego Food Bank as it is distributing more than twice the monthly meals to San Diegans in need. These concurrent drives will go a long way to satisfying two of our most urgent needs.”
In recent weeks, hospital demand for blood products has grown by 30% after sharply declining in early April amid this rapidly changing and complex public health crisis. At the same time, San Diego has had over 200 blood drives cancel due to COVID-19 resulting in about 4,700 fewer blood donations. Blood drives continue to be canceled as many businesses and community organizations remain closed. Donors are needed to make and keep scheduled appointments to help meet the urgent need.
As COVID-19 continues to affect everyday life, people may not be thinking about blood donation. It’s important to remember that blood is needed daily to help patients battling disease and facing the unexpected. The blood collected at this special blood drive will help ensure that the 120 southern California hospitals that the Red Cross serves – including 10 San Diego hospitals – have the blood products that patients rely on.
NEWS 8 will be broadcasting live throughout the day. The San Diego Sockers and San Diego Loyal are also supporting the Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive & Food Drive at Pechanga Arena.
Kyle Kraska’s Celebration of Heroes Blood Drive & Food Drive at Pechanga Arena
Tuesday, June 16
8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
3500 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego
How to help
Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate this June by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device and use sponsor code News8Kyle.
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public guidance.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to safeguard donors, volunteers and employees.
As a thank-you for donating blood June 1-30, the Red Cross will send those who come to donate a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card* via email. *Restrictions apply, see amazon.com/gc-legal. Terms and conditions apply; visit rcblood.org/together.
How to donate blood
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About the Jacobs and Cushman San Diego and North County Food Banks
The Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank and our North County Food Bank chapter comprise the largest hunger-relief organization in San Diego County. Last year, the Food Bank distributed 28 million pounds of food, and the Food Bank serves, on average, 350,000 people per month in San Diego County, and has doubled its distrobution since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Through our North County Food Bank chapter and by partnering with nearly 500 nonprofit partners with feeding programs, the Food Bank provides nutritious food to individuals and families in need in communities throughout San Diego County.