Red Cross urges summer blood, platelet donations to prevent seasonal shortage
MILWAUKEE (WITI) — The American Red Cross urges donors to choose their day to give hope to patients in need by donating blood or platelets during the “100 days of summer. 100 days of hope.” campaign, officially sponsored by Suburban Propane.
“Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and vacation season, and the start of a seasonal decline in blood and platelet donations,” said Greg Novinska, CEO for the Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “By choosing a day to give blood or platelets, volunteer donors can give hope and help maintain a sufficient supply for patients in need.”
To encourage donations around the Memorial Day holiday, those who come to give blood or platelets from May 23-25 will receive a Red Cross RuMe tote bag, while supplies last.
Summer vacations and travel can contribute to less availability for people to give blood or platelets. In a spring survey of Red Cross blood and platelet donors, nearly 90 percent indicated plans to take vacations this summer. However, patients don’t get a summer holiday or vacation from needing lifesaving blood. The Red Cross relies on volunteer donors for the 15,000 blood donations needed every day to support patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
As official sponsor of the summer campaign, which begins Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend, Suburban Propane will support an advertising public awareness campaign about the constant need for blood and platelet donations, and encourage employees and customers to give. Additionally, Suburban Propane employees will volunteer at Red Cross blood drives and facilities nationwide in one of the largest national volunteer commitments to the Red Cross Blood Services from a corporate partner.
“The Suburban Propane family is proud to support the mission of the Red Cross and help ensure that blood and platelets are available for patients in need during the challenging summer months,” said Suburban Propane’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Wienberg. “By partnering with the Red Cross, we are able to continue a noble cause that improves the lives of those in our communities.”
The Red Cross has touched the lives of many Suburban Propane employees including Debbie Traub. In May 2014, her 74-year-old father fell from a ladder while power washing his home and suffered life-threatening injuries. He spent 20 days in the intensive care unit and received many blood transfusions. Traub said that she now knows the importance of giving blood and makes a point to donate in honor of her father at the Suburban Propane headquarter blood drives. Her story is just one of many reasons Suburban Propane continues to advocate for blood and platelet donations to the Red Cross.
“Suburban Propane is the steadfast conduit to mobilize its employees, customers and community leaders nationally to support the Red Cross and the blood needs of communities we serve across the United States,” added Donna M. Morrissey, director of national partnerships for the Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Through the unwavering commitment of Suburban Propane, the lifesaving blood and platelet donations made to the Red Cross may help families stay together, patients recover and people survive.”
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 driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.
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 nation’s 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.