Local News

Red Cross blood donor needs soar in the summer 

Photo courtesy of redcross.org In it’s ‘Be A Force For Good – Give Blood’ promotion the American Red Cross has teamed up with Universal Pictures to offer a free movie ticket for the film “Twisters” to all donors in the month of July.

Algonac Lions drive set for Thursday, July 11

By Barb Pert Templeton

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.

It’s a harrowing statistic but one that makes the hosting of summer blood drives even more important. 

The Algonac Lions Club will host a blood drive on Thursday, July 11, 2024 from 12-6. Donors are asked to call 800REDCROSS to make an appointment or click this link https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/drive-results to register.

“Someone is going to need you to live. It is painless and the actual donation takes less than 10 minutes. Be someone’s hero,” was a comment posted on the Algonac Lions Club Facebook page on July 1 promoting the upcoming drive.

As a special promotion in July, The Red Cross has teamed up with Universal Pictures for the theatrical release of TWISTERS to help avoid a summer blood shortage. All who come to give blood or platelets July 1-31 will get a Fandango Movie Ticket* by email. Plus, those who come to give July 1-14 will also receive a one-of-a-kind TWISTERS and Red Cross umbrella, while supplies last. BONUS: those who come to give blood in July will also automatically be entered for a chance to win a 2025 Ram 1500 Big Horn®

Photo courtesy of Algonac Lions Club/Facebook
The Algonac Lions are hosting a blood drive on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

“The Red Cross is grateful to have partners like Universal Pictures who are not only lending this support to encourage blood donations during this critical time of year but have also generously donated to help support disaster relief,” said Jennifer Pipa, vice president of Disaster Programs for the Red Cross. 

Wondering just how important blood donations are this time of year Blue Water Healthy Living caught up with David Olejarz, Regional Communications Director-American Red Cross Michigan Region, to pose some questions about the topic.

Blue Water Healthy Living: How important is the need to for blood donors during the summer months? 

David Olejarz, Regional Communications Director-American Red Cross Michigan Region:

Blood donations to the American Red Cross help ensure people have access to lifesaving blood when they need it. This includes new moms, babies born prematurely, accident victims, people living with sickle cell disease and people being treated for cancer. That’s why the need for blood is constant.  

BWHL: Do the number of donors usually fall during warmer weather?

Olejarz: Every day, blood and platelet donors are needed to help save lives. While summer can be full of vacations and outdoor activities, it’s also considered a higher risk for car accidents, especially among young teen drivers. A single car accident victim may require as many as 100 units of blood. More than a quarter of all blood products each year are used in critical care and emergency room situations, highlighting the importance of generous blood and platelet donors.  

BWHL: Does the Red Cross get more requests for blood during the summer months? 

Photo courtesy of redcross.org
Blood donations to the American Red Cross help ensure people have access to lifesaving blood when they need it. This includes new moms, babies born prematurely, accident victims, people living with sickle cell disease and people being treated for cancer.

Olejarz: Since the start of 2024, severe weather across the country has caused approximately 20,000 blood donations to go uncollected. The Red Cross critically needs blood and platelet donors now to support lifesaving transfusions this summer. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with type O blood and donors giving platelets. Because blood cannot be stockpiled, vacation activities, severe weather, other types of natural disasters and seasonal illnesses such as the flu are a real threat to the blood supply. But, with the help of generous donors, a sufficient blood supply can be maintained for hospital patients. 

BWHL: Has the Red Cross done a movie promotion for donors in the past – like the one for the film Twisters this summer? 

Olejarz: The Red Cross has partnered with a variety of pop culture brands and entertainment properties as a way to motivate new donors to give blood and for existing donors to give again. Over the last few years, as part of our customary blood donor recruitment efforts, we have aligned with many films, sporting events, etc. to offer special incentives and we are grateful for the support of these generous partners and our donors for their lifesaving gifts to patients in need.  

BWHL: What is the rarest blood type that always seems in short supply for the Red Cross? How do you go about promoting the need for that type so donors step up? 

Olejarz: The Red Cross encourages eligible donors of all races and ethnicities to give blood or platelets to increase the diversity of the blood supply. The vast majority of blood types fall into one of the major ABO groups – but for some patients with rare blood types, blood must be matched closely, beyond the primary A, B, O and AB blood types. Blood given to patients with rare blood types must be matched very closely to reduce the risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy. We are committed to maintaining a diverse blood supply to ensure the right blood product is available at the right time, and every blood and platelet donor has an important role in meeting that need. 

BWHL: What’s the biggest misconception about donating blood? 

Olejarz: A recent survey conducted on behalf of the Red Cross found that more than half of the public believes it is necessary to know their blood type in order to donate blood. This belief is higher among Black (66%) and Hispanic/Latino populations (72%). However, it is important to remember that it is not necessary to know one’s blood type before giving, and Black and Latino donors may be able to help ensure a stable supply of two of the most in demand blood types – types O and B blood. Black and Latino populations have a higher frequency of type O blood than other ethnicities. 

BWHL: How many pints would a smaller drive, like the one planned in Algonac, be expected to receive? 

Olejarz: We appreciate all the donors who have made appointments to donate blood at our blood drive on July 11 at the Algonac Lions Club. The kindness of our donors will help save lives. To make an appointment to donate, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767), visit redcrossblood.org or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App. 

Related posts

$1 million available to fund food waste diversion

Tuscola County Sheriff’s Office finds explosive device, hundreds of ammo rounds in felon’s home

Sanilac Broadcasting Company

AG Nessel Re-Issues Credit Card Protections Alert to Remind Consumers of Their Rights as Financial Literacy Month Continues

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Leave a Comment