Red Cross invites all to pledge to give blood in honor of Michael’s courage through Sleeves Up virtual drive
CHATHAM, NJ, November 27, 2020 — The annual Stay Strong Michael blood drive will be held on Sunday, December 6, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Chatham High School cafeteria located at 255 Lafayette Avenue in Chatham.
The Stay Strong Michael blood drive is held in honor of high-school student Michael DiMaggio. Michael was severely injured in 2014 when he was struck by a car while walking home from school on a Main Street sidewalk in Chatham. Michael suffered life-threatening injuries and required seven blood transfusions within the first 72 hours after the accident. According to his family, Michael’s strength and determination, coupled with the love and support he received – including lifesaving blood from volunteer blood donors – have helped lead him to a miraculous recovery.
“As COVID-19 continues to affect everyday life, people may not be thinking about blood donation,” said Michael’s mother Nicole DiMaggio. “But blood is needed daily to help patients battling disease and facing the unexpected. Donating blood is an easy way to care for each other and ensure hospitals have the blood products patients rely on.”
Nicole, along with her friends Michelle Clark, Melissa Fitzgerald, Marguerite White and Rosalinda Rubio-Williams, organized the first Stay Strong Michael blood drive in 2014 to help make lifesaving blood available to others who may need it as Michael did. The drive has been held every year since, collecting more than 500 units of blood.
“These five women have helped educate an entire community about the lifesaving importance of donating blood,” said Rosie Taravella, CEO, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “The persistence and hard work by this group of friends is truly inspiring; helping to save lives and reaffirming the mission of the American Red Cross every year.”
In alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance, donation appointments are necessary to observe social distancing, and donors must wear a face covering. Eligible individuals can make an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Use the sponsor code Stay Strong Michael for the blood drive on December 6.
This year, people everywhere can honor Michael’s courage through a virtual SleevesUp campaign. By visiting the Stay Strong Michael SleevesUp campaign page, people can pledge their support by making an appointment at any convenient blood or platelet donation opportunity.
Blood donation safety precautions
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 coverings 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 covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
About blood donation
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 and platelet 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 percent 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 American Red Cross in New Jersey:
The American Red Cross provides programs and services to a population of 8.8 million in New Jersey. The Red Cross trains and mobilizes more than 4,400 volunteers who support the delivery of services throughout the state. In New Jersey last year, the Red Cross responded to 848 local disasters, mostly home fires, helping 2,004 displaced families; collected more than 90,923 units of blood through blood drives and Red Cross Blood Donation Centers; provided more than 6,898 military family case services with emergency messages, helping families find assistance and/or get counseling and referrals; and trained 72,073 people with life-saving skills in preparedness, CPR, AED use, first aid and aquatics. For more information, please visit redcross.org/NJ and follow us on Twitter @NJRedCross.org.
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