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SALT LAKE CITY (Nov. 19, 2022) — As many gather for Thanksgiving celebrations with family and friends, the American Red Cross of Utah urges donors to shake up their holiday traditions and plan a time to give blood or platelets in the coming weeks.
Blood and platelet donations tend to drop more than 20% during holiday weeks, including the days around Thanksgiving. Seasonal illness and the threat of winter weather can add more concern during a time of year that is traditionally hard on the nation’s blood supply.
Give thanks and give back – now is the time to make and keep donation appointments. Book a time to give blood or platelets at RedCrossBlood.org. As a thank-you, all who come to donate Nov. 23-27 will get an exclusive Red Cross beanie, while supplies last. Thanks to our partners at Amazon, all donors who come to give blood Nov. 28-Dec. 15 will receive a $10 Gift card by email.*
Go to RedCrossBlood.org to see upcoming blood donation opportunities.
About every two seconds in the United States, blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, said Jeremiah Lafranca, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Utah Greater Salt Lake Chapter. “The Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood, and we often see a decline in donations during the holiday season. We’re urging people to donate now,” he said.
In fact, the only way to obtain transfusable blood is through donations, Lafranca said. “For as long as medicine has been around, we’ve had to rely on the generosity of others to give blood so it’s available when needed,” he said. “Any of us – our friends, family, neighbors – could be in an accident or become ill some day and need blood. Yet, in the U.S., where 62% of the population is eligible to give, only 3% does.”
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 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.
Amplify Your Impact − Volunteer
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.
Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, contact Julie Schwartz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 385-258-5310 or visit RedCross.org/volunteertoday.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
*Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/together.