“Hospital patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood and platelets,” said John Petersen, communications program manager for the Red Cross Blood Service Region. “The closer we get to the major holiday week, the more we see donations decline. People are busy with gift shopping, holiday parties and there is an overall sense of distraction. We need donors to come in and give before they get too busy with other things.”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. On average, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Blood donations are used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies and those living with chronic blood diseases each and every day; patients like Kelsey Harris.
Kelsey Harris — a star athlete, attentive student and teenage driver — was on her way to school when she got into a serious accident. As a result of her injuries, Kelsey needed type O negative blood, the “universal” donor type. Kelsey’s sister, Kenzie, said, “Without the help from those donors, my sister might not be alive today.” Nearly all of Kelsey’s family members are type O negative donors and they regularly give blood together. They are grateful for the donors that helped Kelsey make a recovery and say it is their way of giving back.
As a special “thank you,” all those who present to donate blood from Tuesday, Dec. 24, through Friday, Jan. 3, will receive a commemorative long-sleeve American Red Cross T-shirt. *
Blood donors are encouraged to invite a loved one to follow in their footsteps and donate blood this holiday season. Visit http://rcblood.org/HolidayPostcard to upload a picture of your Red Cross blood donation and send a postcard to a loved one. For more information or to make an appointment to give blood or platelets, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
* While supplies last. Quantities and sizes may be limited.