The American Red Cross, Edward M. Burke, chairman of the Chicago city council and the Chicago Department of Public Health urge eligible donors to give more life by donating blood this holiday season. Schedule an appointment to donate during the Chicago City Hall Blood Drive Nov. 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 121 N. LaSalle Drive, second floor lobby.
“Donating blood is one of the greatest gifts you could give this season,” said Celena Roldan, CEO of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “By keeping our shelves stocked, we can continue to meet the needs of patients right here in our area, especially as winter activities, travel, and weather often impact our blood supply.”
The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood donations. Aside from holiday activities and inclement weather that can force the cancellation of blood drives, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses, but the need is constant; patients continue to need donated blood.
“Chicago’s city council is proud to lead this effort and we urge Chicago residents to make donating blood a part of their holiday traditions,” said Chairman Burke. ”By donating blood, residents have the opportunity to give the gift of life to those in need.”
Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. Each day, the Red Cross must collect nearly 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals across the country.
“The City of Chicago is pleased to partner with the Red Cross to encourage the lifesaving act of donating blood,” said Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner, Julie Morita, M.D. “We hope to inspire residents to roll up their sleeve and give blood during this season of giving to help ensure patients receive the treatment they need.”
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org, sponsor code: City Hall or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 now 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, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:
The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at redcross.org/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.