Red Cross encourages blood donations before holidays

redcross-logoThe American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood before the holiday season is in full swing. Blood donations often decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when holiday festivities pull people away from their donation appointments. This often causes a drop in the blood available for patients. Donations are needed in the weeks leading up to the holidays to help offset this seasonal decline.

Blood donor Kathy Steckly Neuschwander’s father gave blood for years. She always saw him wear his pin when he reached his next gallon – about 12 gallons total. When he was diagnosed with leukemia, she and her family learned firsthand how important blood donations could be around the holidays.

“He passed away in 1994 from leukemia and needed a blood transfusion so we could have one more Thanksgiving together,” she said. “My brother and sister were able to come home from the East Coast for this. I can now say I am wearing his three-gallon pin.”

Donors with all blood types are needed, and especially those with types O negative, B negative, A negative and AB blood. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can now use the Blood Donor App to access their donor card and view vital signs from previous donations.

 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

11/1/2015: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Grace Covenant Church, 3337 Emmaus RoadHarrisonburg
11/5/2015: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., JMU Festival Center, 1301 Carrier DriveHarrisonburg
11/12/2015: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Massanutten Resort/Woodstone Building, 1822 Resort DrMcGaheysville
11/13/2015: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Valley Mall, 1925 E. Market StreetHarrisonburg

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

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