The Red Cross is giving citizens a chance to give back to their communities by holding several blood drives in July in several counties throughout Illinois.
Blood drives taking place in McLean Co. will be held all throughout the Bloomington-Normal area, including the American Red Cross and Avanti’s Italian Restaurant in Bloomington.
The drives will begin July 18, continuing through July 31 in each county, including Champaign, Clark, DeWitt, Edgar, Ford, Kankakee, Livingston and Vermilion.
It is often difficult for the Red Cross to collect enough blood and platelet donations to meet patient needs during the summer months when many people are on vacation, but the need for blood donations remains the same.
“The ultimate reward for donors is the knowledge that their one donation may help save up to three lives,” Ben Corey, Red Cross external communications manager, said.
Because of the lack of appointments to donate blood during the summertime, the accessibility of blood and platelets to patients this summer is not guaranteed.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion, which can save their life.
With the continual need for blood, it is critical that eligible donors give blood — especially during June, July and August, to prevent a blood shortage during the summer months.
The Red Cross needs to accumulate 15,000 blood donations every day in order to meet the needs of patients at about 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
By becoming a donor, people open themselves to the chance to have a large impact in their community. Doing so helps to provide a steady blood supply that is available for the patients who need it.
“Potential donors will also receive a mini-physical to check their pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin,” Corey said.
Blood and platelets collected can be used for several different benefits for patients.
Trauma victims, heart surgery patients and organ transplant recipients can all benefit from donations, as well as patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease, Corey said.
The organization is seeking blood types O, B negative and A negative in particular.
The Red Cross is devoted to giving relief and support to tragedy victims, while supplying about 40 percent of the country’s blood. The non-profit organization operates mainly through volunteers.
To find a blood drive to make a donation appointment or learn more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or log onto redcrossblood.org.