People wanting to make a lifesaving difference in the Rochester-area now have the chance to donate blood at the American Red Cross chapter office located at 305 Alliance Place NE. On December 27, the Red Cross will host its first blood drive at this location, collecting blood donations for patients, such as those battling cancer, accident victims, transplant recipients and those living with sickle cell disease.
In appreciation for sharing their good health during the holiday season, all who come to give will receive a Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last. In addition, all first-time Red Cross blood donors will receive a $5 gift card from a local business, courtesy of Red Cross Southeast Minnesota Chapter board members.
Historically, blood donation in Olmsted County has primarily been available at Mayo Clinic’s two downtown blood donation centers. Because the Red Cross is seeing low blood supply levels not seen in more than a decade, blood drives are now being added at the chapter office in Rochester, giving people more opportunities to give the gift of life.
“This was the right time to expand our reach and offer donors additional opportunities to help provide hope, healing and access to treatment for patients in need,” said Melanie Tschida, executive director of the Red Cross serving Southeast Minnesota.
Having a readily available blood supply is vital for patients whose survival depends on transfusions. Donating blood is essential to community health, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.
Individuals will also continue to be able to give blood at Red Cross blood drives across the Southeast Minnesota area.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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.
Blood donation safety precautions
To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
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.