December may be the season of giving – but it’s typically a challenging time to collect enough blood donations. Add in a pandemic, and this year could be even tougher than usual. That’s why the American Red Cross is urging those who are feeling well to give the gift of life by donating blood this holiday season.
The need for blood doesn’t stop for holidays. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than 1 million blood transfusions will be given in the United States. Donations of all blood types are needed to ensure hospital shelves remain stocked to meet patient blood needs.
To make an appointment to give blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross, download the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call (800) 733-2767 or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
To encourage donations this holiday season, those who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross between Friday, Dec. 18 and Monday, Jan. 4 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross t-shirt, while supplies last.
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.
The next blood donation opportunity in Shiawassee County will take place in Perry on Tuesday, Dec. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. at the Perry Baptist Church, 217 S. Main Street.
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 (or 16 with parental/guardian consent), 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.