The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood before the holiday season is in full swing.
Blood donations often decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when holiday festivities pull people away from their donation appointments. This often causes a drop in the blood available for patients. Donations are needed in the weeks leading up to the holidays to help offset this seasonal decline.
Blood donor Kathy Steckly Neuschwander’s father gave blood for years. She always saw him wear his pin when he reached his next gallon – about 12 gallons total. When he was diagnosed with leukemia, she and her family learned firsthand how important blood donations could be around the holidays.
“He passed away in 1994 from leukemia and needed a blood transfusion so we could have one more Thanksgiving together,” she said. “My brother and sister were able to come home from the East Coast for this. I can now say I am wearing his three-gallon pin.”
Donors with all blood types are needed, and especially those with types O negative, B negative, A negative and AB blood. To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can now use the Blood Donor App to access their donor card and view vital signs from previous donations.