The American Red Cross is calling for financial and blood donations on Giving Tuesday, and during the holidays as families face emergency needs amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“When disasters strike in communities and patients are in urgent need of lifesaving blood transfusions, the American Red Cross is able to respond, thanks to generous volunteers and donors — especially this year, as the nation faced additional challenges due to the ongoing pandemic, devastating storms and an emergency blood shortage,” the agency said in a release.
According to the Red Cross, many communities are still recovering from severe weather emergencies, and a family displaced by a disaster spent an average of nearly 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter.
To help meet the increase needs of hospital patients this year, the Red Cross also distributed 250,000 more blood products than last year — until the delta variant began to spread. This resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year.
“(This is) one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients,” the release stated.
As a result of the low blood donor turnout over the last few months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade.
“Blood donations are desperately needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease,” the release stated.
Donors can schedule an appointment on the Red Cross Blood Donor app, the website at RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Those who give blood through Dec. 16 will receive a $10 Amazon gift card by email and be entered to win a private screening of a new film.
There are several upcoming blood donation opportunities in Clark, Logan and Montgomery counties. They include:
Wednesday, Nov. 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Ohio Masonic Home, 2655 W. National Road in Springfield.
Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Transportation Research Center, 10820 Ohio 347 in East Liberty.
Tuesday, Dec. 7 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 201 Main North in Bellefontaine.
Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 12:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the American Legion Kettering-Post 598, 5700 Kentshire Drive in Kettering.
To be eligible to donate, individuals need to bring a blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in, be at least 17 or 16 with parental consent, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.