Local Red Cross blood supply slowly rebuilds, blood donors still needed

The American Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region needs approximately 700 eligible donors to donate blood each day in August to continue rebuilding an already fragile blood supply.

The Red Cross appreciates the hundreds of donors in your community who responded to the appeal for blood issued in July. However, the need still remains as the blood supply is not yet back up to adequate levels, and blood products continue to go to area hospitals just as quickly as they are coming in.

Nationally, more than 500,000 blood donors are needed during the month of August to help the Red Cross keep up with demand across the country, and each and every blood donor can make a world of difference to a patient in need.

“The Great Lakes Region is extremely grateful to those who have rolled up a sleeve to give blood in answer to our urgent appeal for donors,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO for the Great Lakes Region. “However, we’re not out of the woods yet and we need to continue rebuilding our blood supply to adequate levels.”

The Red Cross understands that many donors are busy or traveling and thanks those who have come out to donate to help patients in need. But the need is constant. As the summer months come to an end and families plan their vacations before school resumes, the Red Cross encourages everyone who is able to make blood donation a part of their vacation plans.

There are many stories of why people donate blood and many stories about why people need blood. Each story is a true testament to the mission and goals of the Red Cross. Every blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives. The lives could be those of a co-worker, a neighbor, a family member or friend. Those lives could be in your community, across the state or around the world. The Red Cross is in those communities, positively impacting lives.

In an effort to help increase donor turnout, the Red Cross Great Lakes Region continues its partnership with Meijer to offer a chance to win free groceries ($250 value) to every person who comes out to donate. In addition, everyone who comes out to donate also has a chance to win $125 in gas from Meijer and a $500 Best Buy gift card.

The next Red Cross blood drive in Kent County will be held at the American Red Cross, 1050 Fuller Avenue, Grand Rapids, on September 1 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height), and are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

Eligible blood donors are asked to please call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to find a blood drive and to make an appointment.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join the blog at blog.redcross.org.

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