The American Red Cross

Red Cross asks public to Give thanks with the perfect gift—gift of life

November 17, 2011 // 0 Comments

The American Red Cross is asking all eligible donors to honor our country’s heroes by becoming an everyday hero themselves. By donating blood this holiday season, people can give a special thanks that lasts a lifetime. “As you reflect on what you are grateful for this holiday season, set aside time to come donate blood,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Your donation can give someone another moment, another day, another holiday to spend with love ones and friends. And that’s something to feel thankful for.” The Red Cross Great Lakes Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to hospitals across the state of Michigan and needs approximately 700 people to donate blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims, as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source. But while the need for blood is constant, the supply of blood sometimes isn’t. Blood donations can dip around the holidays, making it important for donors to make and keep appointments to ensure a strong and stable blood supply for sick and injured people. “If you want to express your gratitude this holiday season and do something meaningful for others, donate blood,” said Jaksa, “Someone in your community may need blood this holiday season and will be thankful for the gift of life you gave.” Everyone who comes out to donate in November has a chance to win a $250 Meijer gift card. Everyone who attempts to donate November 21-27 has a chance to win one of five $100 Visa gift cards. In addition, everyone who comes out to donate in December could win a $250 Meijer gift card, a $500 Best Buy gift card and a chance to win one of 15 invitations to Sundance Chevrolet for a chance to win a 2012 Chevy Cruze. To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood or platelets, people can visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or […]

Be prepared for emergencies—American Red Cross observes National Preparedness Month

September 1, 2011 // 0 Comments

The American Red Cross is among a coalition of organizations encouraging Americans to observe the Eighth Annual National Preparedness Month this September by doing simple things that make a difference when every second counts. The Red Cross recommends three things most everyone can do to prepare for disasters or other emergencies: Get a kit. Make a plan. Be informed. Supporting blood donation or giving blood is also critical to any community preparedness plan since hospitals need blood on the shelves to respond to patient need. Hospital patients need about 40,000 blood donations each day for ongoing or emergency medical needs. And when adequate supplies of blood are available every day of every week, the Red Cross can help ensure a swift response when and if blood needs intensify. Blood is typically available to patients 24 to 48 hours from the point of donation because of the various steps involved in testing, processing, and distributing components like red cells, platelets and plasma. While many people roll up their sleeves during times of disaster, the key to a strong blood supply, Red Cross officials say, are steady and consistent donations throughout the year. “It’s human nature to want to help when disasters strike,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “By taking some precautionary steps today—like donating blood—you’ll be helping, too, since you’re empowering yourself and our nation to face the unexpected.” As an added incentive for donors, everyone who attempts to donate blood or platelets in August has a chance to win a $250 Meijer gift card, a $125 Meijer gas card, and a $500 Best Buy gift card. Every person who attempts to donate in September will have a chance to win a $250 Meijer gift card and a $125 Meijer gas card. For more information about these promotions or to make an appointment to donate, call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit Two American Red Cross blood drives are scheduled for Kent County in September. The first takes place at American Red Cross, 1050 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 1. The second will be at Cornerstone University, 1001 E. Beltline Ave. NE, Grand Rapids, from noon until […]