This holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages individuals to give a gift that means something — a blood or platelet donation. This simple, potentially lifesaving act can give patients in need another holiday season with family and friends.
“The need for blood is constant during the winter months, but donations can slow — especially around the holidays,” said Jerry J.K. Tillery of the Red Cross Alabama and Central Gulf Coast, Puerto Rico and Southern Blood Services Regions. “Long holiday weekends, like Thanksgiving, pose an extra challenge when many donors are traveling to be with family and friends. Therefore, we encourage people to make an appointment to donate blood and help ensure a sufficient supply for patients in need.”
Donors of all blood types — particularly O negative, A negative and B negative — are needed. Platelet donors also are urged to schedule appointments. To encourage donations around the holidays, presenting blood and platelet donors from Nov. 26-30 received a Red Cross potholder stuffed with unique recipes from celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Rocco DiSpirito, Alex Guarnaschelli and Mike Isabella.
Eligible donors can learn more and schedule appointments to give blood by going to redcrossblood.org, calling 1-800-733-2767 or by downloading the Blood Donor App.
When giving, 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 generally are in 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.