Red Cross launches ‘100 days’ blood drive campaign

SALT LAKE CITY — The American Red Cross urges donors 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,” Kimberly Houk, communications manager of Lewis and Clark and Arizona Blood Services Region, said. “By choosing a day to give blood or platelets, volunteer donors can give hope and help maintain a sufficient supply for patients in need.”

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.

“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,” Suburban Propane’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Wienberg said. “By partnering with the Red Cross, we are able to continue a noble cause that improves the lives of those in our communities.”

In May 2014, Debbie Traub’s 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, a Suburban Propane employee, said that she now knows the importance of giving blood and makes a point to donate in honor of her father.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card, 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.

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