NEW JERSEY – April is National Minority Health Month — a time to raise awareness about health disparities that disproportionately affect racially and ethnically diverse populations. It’s also a time to encourage action through access to care by inspiring people to give blood or platelets.
The American Red Cross is reminding blood and platelet donors it’s vital to make and keep donation appointments this month to ensure shelves are fully stocked with blood products all season long. With blood transfusions remaining one of the most critical treatments for patients − like those facing pregnancy and childbirth complications, and those with chronic illnesses like sickle cell disease − donors can connect patients to lifesaving care.
Having a diverse blood supply is one way to ensure all patients have ongoing access to compatible blood transfusions. To make an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
People coming together to care for one another is the humanitarian spirit shared by the Red Cross community and PEANUTS.® All who come to give by April 23 will get an exclusive Red Cross and PEANUTS Snoopy T-shirt, while supplies last. Plus, through April 30, those who come to give will be automatically entered for a chance to win a three-night trip for two to Sonoma County, California, courtesy of Peanuts Worldwide. Details are available at rcblood.org/cool.
How to donate blood:
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
Amplify your impact − volunteer:
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross is to become a volunteer blood donor ambassador at Red Cross blood drives. Blood donor ambassadors help greet, check-in and thank blood donors to ensure they have a positive donation experience.
Volunteers can also serve as transportation specialists, playing a vital role in ensuring lifesaving blood products are delivered to nearby hospitals. For more information and to apply for either position, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.