During National Volunteer Month this April, the American Red Cross is celebrating the blood, platelet and plasma donors who help fulfill its lifesaving mission and urging healthy individuals to join them in giving.
Nearly 2.6 million Red Cross volunteer donors step up every year to ensure blood is on the shelves when patients need it. The generosity of these heroes has been especially impactful over the past year as they helped the Red Cross continue to meet patient needs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Red Cross continues to urge healthy individuals, especially those with type O blood, to give blood to ensure hospitals can meet patient needs. Schedule a donation appointment by downloading the Red Cross 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 special thank-you, those who come to give by April 30 will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $1,000 e-gift cards to a merchant of choice. Additional details are available at rcblood.org/Gift.
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Plasma from routine blood and platelet donations that test positive for high levels of antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood product collected from COVID-19 survivors who have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities include: April 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Northwest State Community College, Archbold; April 20, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Pettisville Missionary Church, 19055 County Road D; April 20, 2-7 p.m., The Stables, 11781 Obee Road, Whitehouse; April 26, 12-6 p.m., Swanton American Legion, 200 S. Hallett Ave.