Have any plans for this upcoming weekend? The American Red Cross is encouraging those eligible to donate blood soon, in light of a “concerning donation shortfall” over recent weeks.
As the Fourth of July weekend approaches, the Red Cross has seen a downward trend in donations that may worsen during the holiday.
“The upcoming holiday could put a further strain on donations, as millions celebrate with family vacations and other seasonal activities,” the Red Cross wrote in a statement.
The Red Cross supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood, and—according to the organization—someone in the U.S. needs blood or platelets every two seconds.
“Donors of all blood types, especially those with type B negative or O negative blood as well as platelet donors, are needed to make an appointment to give now to ensure blood remains available for patients this summer,” the release stated.
In order to donate blood, you must:
- Have a blood donor card, driver’s license, or two other forms of identification for check-in
- Be above 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent, by state law)
- Weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health
“It takes less time to donate blood than to watch a classic summer camp movie,” their website reads. “Remember those nostalgic story lines with the thrill of adventure, new friendships and the great outdoors? Channel that excitement and those I-can-do-anything feelings to help save lives: Kick off summer with a blood, platelet or plasma donation!”
To encourage donations, the Red Cross will be giving out prizes to those who give blood in the next few weeks:
Anyone who donates blood, platelets or plasma through June 30 will receive a $10 gift card to a merchant of their choice. They will also automatically be entered for a backyard theater package, which includes a laser wireless projector and screen, projector tripod, smokeless fire pit, Adirondack chair set with four chairs and two tables and a movie night snack package, according to the website.
Those donating between July 1-11 will receive an exclusive Red Cross dry bag.
To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
by Grace Katzer
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