As many gathered to celebrate Thanksgiving and we all look ahead at a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood or platelets in the coming weeks.
As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34 percent drop in new blood donors from last year − one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients.
Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
As a thank you, all those who come to give now through Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film The Matrix Resurrections. Plus, those who come to give by Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.
In San Joaquin County, donors can go to the North Stockton Blood Donation Center, 2888 West March Lane, Stockton, open several days a week. In Stanislaus County, the Modesto Blood Donation Center is open various days and hours at 1900 W. Orangeburg Ave., Modesto; while there is also a community drive scheduled in Oakdale, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15 at the Bianchi Community Center, 110 S. Second Ave.
Also available, the Sonora Blood Donation Center, 850 Sanguinetti Road, Sonora in Tuolumne County, also open various days and hours.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – 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.
Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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 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.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.