Heroes needed now: Give blood or platelets

The American Red Cross wants everyone to enjoy a safe and fun Fourth of July, which includes ensuring a strong blood supply for patients in hospitals across the country. There has been a concerning shortfall in blood donations in recent weeks, and the upcoming holiday could put a further strain on donations, as millions celebrate with family vacations and other seasonal activities. Donors of all blood types, especially those with type B negative or O negative blood as well as platelet donors, are needed to make an appointment to give now to ensure blood remains available for patients this summer.

To encourage blood donations, the Red Cross is offering the following to those who come to give in the coming weeks:

All who come to give blood, platelets or plasma through June 30 will receive a $10 gift card by email to a merchant of their choice. Those who come to give in June will also be automatically entered for a chance to win a backyard theater package. Details for both offers can be found at RedCrossBlood.org/June.

All who come to give blood, platelets or plasma July 1-11 will receive an exclusive Red Cross dry bag, while supplies last. Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/gifts.

By scheduling and keeping appointments right now, donors can help ensure patients relying on blood donations also get to enjoy their summer. To schedule an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

To make an appointment, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.

A stable blood and platelet supply is critical to national preparedness. Additionally, as we approach the beginning of what is expected to be another active hurricane season, the Red Cross urges everyone to get ready now and consider becoming a volunteer to help people affected by the growing number of climate-driven disasters.

Support impacted communities by assisting at Red Cross shelters, using your professional skills as a licensed health care provider or becoming a member of the Red Cross Disaster Action Team. To learn more, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.

To find blood drives in Ventura, visit RedCrossBlood.org and type in the zip code.

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