As millions of Americans make their final gift purchases this holiday season, the American Red Cross reminds eligible donors to give the most meaningful gift of all – the gift of life – by donating blood or platelets.
Blood donations often decline during the holidays when busy schedules, inclement weather and seasonal illnesses can make it more difficult for donors to make and keep donation appointments, but the need for blood doesn’t get a break for the holiday season. During the final two weeks of the year, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 175,000 blood and platelet donations for those depending on transfusions at hospitals and transfusion centers locally and across the country.
“When you donate blood or platelets, you are not only giving the gift of life to someone, you are also giving their loved ones hope for more holidays and joyous occasions together,” said Ryan Corcoran, director of donor recruitment of the Red Cross Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian Blood Services Regions. “To the parents of a child going through cancer treatment or family of an accident victim, that is a priceless gift.”
Blood donors of all types, particularly AB, O, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are encouraged to make an appointment to donate and help ensure hospitals have the blood they need for patients this winter. As a special thank you for taking the time to donate, those who come out to give Dec. 23 through Jan. 3 will receive a long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
More information on local volunteer opportunities is available online at redcrossblood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.