Blood Donors Give Blood Bank a Boost Before Holiday Weekend

Michelle Blood Drive Photo(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, 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

4th of July

According to the NFPA more fires are reported on the 4th of July than on any other day of the year. What is the cause? Fireworks. So think twice before you try to launch fireworks at your celebration! Even consumer fireworks cause thousands of people to become injured each year.

Here are a few things to remember this 4th of July…

    • Leave fireworks to the professionals. Don’t attempt to hold your own fireworks display.
  • Check your local newspaper to find out about the public fireworks displayed in your community. This is the safest way to enjoy fireworks. These events are run by trained professionals.


  • Keep children away from fireworks. Even after a fireworks display, children should not touch any remains of the fireworks. They may still be active.


  • Consumer fireworks like sparklers can emit a temperature of up to 1200ْ F. So use caution! Keep sparklers away from your face and skin.


Enjoy your holiday weekend!

These fire facts are brought to you by Team Firestopper! We’re working to stop fires before they start in your community! For more information or fire tips, visit or!

Sources: American Red Cross and the National Fire Protection Association