Emergency blood shortage persists

November 22, 2021

As many prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and look ahead at a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood or platelets in the coming weeks.

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year − one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients. Locally, the Missouri-Arkansas Red Cross Region has experienced a 13.4% decrease in new blood donors this year.

Don’t wait. Humanity needs you to help patients enjoy all the holiday season has to offer. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film The Matrix Resurrections. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.*

Those who share the warmth and make a blood or platelet donation part of their Thanksgiving plans Nov. 24-28 will receive an exclusive pair of Red Cross holiday socks, while supplies last.

In the St. Louis area, you can give the perfect gift – the gift of life – by donating blood the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, Nov. 26 at the 12th annual JOY FM/Boost Radio Perfect Gift Blood Drive. The drive will go from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at three locations in the Greater St. Louis area, and one location in Southwestern Illinois. Rather than shop for deals on the busiest Friday of the year, Mike and Diana Hopkins spend family time every year driving an hour each way the day after Thanksgiving to donate blood at this drive. This year they will be joined by two of their six children, sons Lucas and Zach, who will donate with them at West Hills Church in Town and Country.

“It’s a way to give back,” said Mike (pictured at the far right – red cap). “I think a lot of times when we go shopping it’s for things that people want, but this something that obviously people need, so we feel privileged to be able to provide that.

To make an appointment at the Perfect Gift blood drive, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and use sponsor code: joyfm/boost, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 22-Dec. 16:

Clinton County

11/23/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Hall, 391 Louis Street

11/24/2021: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., American Legion Hall, 575 North Main Street
12/10/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Breese Fire Department, 50 N Germantown Road

12/13/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Carlyle Grade School, 951 6th Street

New Baden
11/22/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Civic Center, 100 East Birch Street

Saint Rose
12/14/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St Rose Development Club, 8004 South First Street

12/16/2021: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 3324 Old Highway 50

Franklin County

12/1/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Franklin Hospital, 201 Bailey Lane
12/8/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Joseph Catholic Church, 506 West Main

West Frankfort
11/29/2021: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., Weeks Chrysler Dodge Ram Fiat, 10756 IL 149

Jefferson County

11/22/2021: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Rend Lake College, 468 North Kengray Parkway
11/29/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Free Will Baptist Church, 3rd and Elm Street

Mount Vernon
11/29/2021: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Rolland Lewis Community Building, South 27th Street
12/2/2021: 7 a.m. – 12 p.m., Crossroads Community Hospital, 8 Doctors Park Road
12/2/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Crossroads Community Hospital, 8 Doctors Park Road

12/8/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., First Baptist Church, 301 North Central Street

Marion County

12/15/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Christ Our Rock Lutheran High School, 9545 Shattuc Road

12/1/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Patoka High School, 1220 Kinoka Road

12/3/2021: 1 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Theresa of Avila Catholic Church, 812 West Main

Washington County

11/24/2021: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Ashley Community Building, 660 East Main Street

12/13/2021: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., St Ann School, 675 South Mill Street

12/10/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., St Anthony Catholic Church, 6101 St. Anthony Church Road

Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

How to donate blood
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. 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 RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, 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 deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

About The Matrix Resurrections
Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, In Association with Village Roadshow Pictures, In Association with Venus Castina Productions, The

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