(CHICAGO, IL) – Summer can be a challenging time for blood donations. A recent Red Cross blood and platelet donor survey found that more than
40 percent of eligible blood donors plan to travel the week before or after Independence Day.
But the lack of blood and platelet donors isn’t just an issue these two weeks every July: most donors are less available to give during the summer months due to vacation and summer activities.
Fortunately, today at the Chicago Red Cross headquarters, a blood drive provided our blood bank with a much needed boost for the holiday weekend.
“Blood drives are one of the most life-saving forms of volunteerism,” said Red Cross disaster program specialist Betsy Johnson, who gave blood for the fourth time this year. “You can save three lives with just one unit of blood. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes of my day.”
Besides the motivation to donate blood as a Red Cross employee, Betsy’s sister is currently undergoing chemotherapy, fueling her personal desire to contribute to the need for blood.
A few chairs over, Red Cross international services and service to the armed forces manager Michelle McSweeney, was admiring her Red Cross embroidered baseball hat that she received courtesy of the national American Red Cross “100 Days of Summer” blood donation initiative. From July 2-12 anyone who donates blood at a Red Cross blood drive will receive a free Red Cross embroidered baseball hat, while supplies last.
Michelle was all smiles as the nurse initiated the blood collection process, “(Blood drives) provide me with an opportunity to serve outside of my every day role, and guaranteeing I will be making an impact in people’s lives.”
If you are interested in an easy way to save a life, you can give the gift of life-saving blood by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to find a blood drive near you.
Story and Photo By: Alexandra Sobczak, American Red Cross Volunteer