December 4, 2017

Think outside the gift box, Donate blood, give more life

ST. LOUIS -- The best gifts canít be bought in a store. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give more life by giving blood this December.

Alison Wissen knows the power of blood donations. She received 22 units of blood products after experiencing complications during childbirth. "I truly owe my life to blood donors," she said. "Even the skilled hands of my surgeons could not have saved me without the blood." Because of blood and platelet donors, Wissen will celebrate the holidays with her three children and husband.

In December, donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady. During the holiday season, set aside an hour to give the most important gift Ė give blood and give more life. To encourage donations, all those who come to give blood or platelets Dec. 21, 2017, through Jan. 7, 2018, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 16-31

Randolph

Baldwin

12/21/2017: 2 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., American Legion Hall, Behind Fire House

Chester

12/20/2017: 12:45 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., American Legion Hall, 500 East Opdyke

Sparta

12/20/2017: 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m., Spartan Light Metal, 510 East McClurken

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 driverís 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 RapidPassģ to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Volunteers needed

Another way to support the life-saving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador. The role is simple, but it is critical to our success. The Red Cross is looking for people to assist with reception, greeting donors and hospitality (offering refreshments) at blood drives. The objective is to provide the blood donors with a positive experience. For more information about volunteering contact Kristin Pendleton 314-281-7968 or Kristin.Pendleton@redcross.org 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nationís blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports 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 perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.