Donors of all blood types are urgently needed, and there is an emergency need for platelet donors and type O blood donors to make an appointment to give now to ensure patients across the country continue to receive critical medical care. When Hurricane Idalia slammed into the Southeast—leading to widespread power outages, travel hazards and flooding—the storm also forced the cancellation of over a dozen blood drives and caused hundreds of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected. This compounded a shortfall of about 30,000 donations in August. Right now, blood product distributions to hospitals are outpacing the number of blood donations coming in.
Also, September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month. One in three African American blood donors is a match for people with sickle cell disease. To help ensure patients have the blood products they need, the Red Cross launched the Sickle Cell Initiative in 2021 to grow the number of blood donors who are Black and improve health outcomes for patients. Longtime and first-time blood donors are helping patients with sickle cell manage their symptoms and showing support for their community.
Joined by Blood is the initiative’s focus during Sickle Cell Awareness Month in September and continues through October. This year, the Red Cross is proud to partner with organizations focused on mentorship, including 100 Black Men of America, Inc.; Kier’s Hope Foundation, Inc.; historically Black colleges and universities and member organizations of the National Pan-Hellenic Council; as well as the Black Radio Hall of Fame and others, who are all showing up for patients with sickle cell by hosting blood drives. To learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/OurBlood.
All who give blood throughout September will receive a coupon for a free haircut by e-mail, thanks to Sport Clips Haircuts. Plus, they’ll be automatically entered for a chance to win a VIP NASCAR racing experience. Details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/RaceToGive.
To make an appointment, you may 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. 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.
Here are some upcoming blood donation opportunities in our area through September 30:
- 9/25: 2–7 p.m., Millville Elks Lodge 580, 1815 E. Broad St., Millville
- 9/29: 1–6 p.m., The YMCA of Vineland, 1159 E. Landis Ave., Vineland
- 9/23: 9 a.m.–2 p.m., Carneys Point Fire Department & Rescue Squad, 258 D St., Carneys Point
- 9/28: 2–7 p.m., Mannington Township Elementary School, 495 Rt. 45, Carneys Point
- 9/30: 9 a.m.–2 p.m., Woodstown Masonic Lodge #138, 32 Auburn Rd., Woodstown