Red Cross: Donors of all blood types, races and ethnicities needed

September 27, 2019

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (Sept. 23, 2019) — The American Red Cross urges people of all races and ethnicities to give blood or platelets to help increase the diversity of the blood supply.

The vast majority of blood types fall into one of the major blood groups. However, for patients with rare blood types or those who receive regular blood transfusions, blood must be matched closely – beyond the primary A, B, O and AB blood types – to reduce the risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy. The best match may be someone of the same racial or ethnic group.

Eight-year-old AJ Torres requires blood transfusions to treat complications from sickle cell disease, the most common genetic disease in the U.S. The disease is most common among people of African descent or Latino descent, like AJ, and can sometimes cause small blood vessels to become blocked. Diverse donors are important to ensuring AJ has the blood products he needs to regain his health.

“Within minutes of receiving a blood transfusion, I watch his strength be restored, pain vanish and energy return. Soon he transforms back to himself – a rambunctious little boy,” said his mom, Caira Torres. “If an 8-year-old can withstand a needle, so can you.”

Donors of all blood types, as well as all races and ethnicities, are needed to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Sept. 23-Oct. 15:


Clinton County:

9/26/2019: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Carlyle Junior High, 1631 12th Street

10/7/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Wesclin Middle School, 10003 State Route 160

Franklin County:

10/9/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Franklin Hospital, 201 Bailey Lane

9/26/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sesser Valier High School, 4626 State Highway 154

West Frankfort
10/8/2019: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., St Johns School & Parish, 703 1/2 East Main Street

Jefferson County:

9/24/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Bluford Unit Schools, 907 West 6th Street

10/7/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Free Will Baptist Church, 3rd and Elm Street

Mount Vernon
10/3/2019: 7 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Crossroads Community Hospital, 8 Doctors Park Road
10/3/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Crossroads Community Hospital, 8 Doctors Park Road

10/2/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Waltonville Grade School, 802 West Knob Street

Marion County:

10/13/2019: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Kinmundy Christian Church, 225 N. Monroe Street

10/9/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Patoka High School, 1220 Kinoka Road

9/23/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sandoval City Hall, 102 North Cherry Street

Washington County:

10/14/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Lighthouse Community Church, 7457 State Route 127

9/24/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Okawville High School, 400 South Hanover

9/25/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Michaels Catholic Church, 52 South 3rd Street

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, 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. 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 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

Since 1914, the American Red Cross has served the Greater Kansas City area by preventing and alleviating human suffering. Today the Red Cross provides blood products and specialized laboratory services to seven hospitals in the Greater Kansas City area, including those within the HCA Midwest Health. The Red Cross is the only blood services provider that also offers health and safety training, serves as a vital communication link between military personnel and their families, teaches disaster preparedness, and provides relief to victims of disasters for our community.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.