The holidays are known for the giving spirit and a hectic pace. This holiday season, the American Red Cross is sharing three ways to give the gift of life in less time.
At this time of year many regular blood and platelet donors delay giving due to busy schedules – but the need for blood remains. To help donors fit in a donation, the Red Cross offers three easy ways to make helping save lives faster and more convenient:
• RapidPass – Donors can complete their pre-donation reading and health history questions online to save about 15 minutes at their donation. In September, RapidPass became available on mobile devices, giving donors the ability to complete their RapidPass from a smartphone, tablet or computer.
• Blood Donor App – Through the Red Cross Blood Donor App, users can find local blood drives and donation centers, schedule an appointment, receive appointment reminders and keep track of total blood donations – all from the palm of their hand.
• Online appointment scheduling – Donors can conveniently schedule an appointment and find tips for a successful blood or platelet donation at redcrossblood.org.
“The Red Cross is thankful for the generosity of donors who help keep hospital shelves stocked with lifesaving blood products, but we know that the holiday activities that we cherish most can make it difficult for many regular donors to find a moment to donate this time of year,” said Mario Sedlock, director of donor recruitment, Southern Blood Services Region. “We hope technologies like online appointment scheduling, the Blood Donor App and RapidPass will make it a little easier for donors to give more life for patients this holiday season.”
Patients don’t get a holiday break from needing lifesaving transfusions, and all blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply is available. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To learn more about RapidPass, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities are as follows:
Nov. 22: 2-7 p.m., Richmond Hill United Methodist Church, 9050 Ford Ave., Richmond Hill
Nov. 22: 1-6 p.m., Long County Community, 212 East Cypress, Ludowici
Nov. 24: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Hinesville Masonic Lodge 271 & VA Clinic, 500 E Oglethorpe Hwy., Hinesville
Nov. 24: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Liberty Regional Medical Center, 462 E.G. Miles Parkway, Hinesville
Dec. 7: 2-7 p.m., Brooklet United Methodist Church, 201 Parker Ave., Brooklet
How to donate blood
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.