Blood donors needed to keep supply strong as pandemic continues

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Though this summer may feel different than summers past, one thing remains constant: The need for blood donations to help save lives. The American Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood to restock the shelves for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the country have stepped up to help by giving blood with the Red Cross. Blood donations from healthy individuals are just as essential now to meet patient needs, and those who gave this spring may be eligible to help again.

Donation appointments can be made for the coming days and weeks by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a “thank you” for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give Aug. 1 to Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email, courtesy of Amazon. Plus, come to give by Aug. 31 and automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm, redeemable through the 2021 season.

The Red Cross is also looking for blood drive hosts this fall to help ensure a stable blood supply. There is no known end date in this fight against coronavirus, and while cases increase across the country, blood drives continue to be canceled at an alarming rate as many businesses, schools and community organizations remain closed.

Because about 80 percent of blood donations are made at blood drives hosted by these groups, the Red Cross urgently needs the help of both blood donors and blood drive hosts to ensure blood products are readily available for patients. Learn more and sign up to sponsor a drive by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Blood donation safety precautions: To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.

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