Donating to the American Red Cross this Giving Tuesday can double your impact

Every donation, no matter how small, helps save lives, as #HelpCantWait

By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer

Tomorrow, November 29th is Giving Tuesday, a day which encourages and celebrates local giving, generosity, and humanity. This year, the need for charitable giving and the American Red Cross mission is as vital as ever. 2022 has been a year of crisis for families and communities here in Northern Ohio and throughout the world.

For this year’s Giving Tuesday, the Red Cross is issuing a matching gift opportunity for all donations made at redcross.org. Sponsored by the Coca-Cola Company, all donations made – regardless of designation – will be matched dollar for dollar up to $250,000.

Even small donations have a major impact. A donation made through redcross.org can be as little as $10, yet provides tremendous hope in a time of crisis or helps prevent disaster. A few examples include providing a smoke alarm and fire safety education; aiding someone to learn CPR; assisting a family with a meal, supplies, and safe place to stay after a home fire; helping someone receive a lifesaving blood transfusion; and aiding a family contact a deployed member of the military during an emergency.

In addition to donating at redcross.org, you can text “REDCROSS” to 90999 and give $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief, which will appear on your wireless bill, or call 1-800- HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669).

As a Red Cross volunteer in various capacities, I can attest to the impact these donations have on people’s lives, as I have often seen the moment when people who have experienced a disaster realize they have support, that others care, that they will be able to recover and move on.

And help is needed. The climate crisis is increasing the frequency and intensity of natural disasters. So far in 2022, the Red Cross has responded to 15 billion-dollar disasters, more than twice the number that struck annually two decades ago. Internationally, global conflict and Africa’s hunger crisis have devastated millions, and the Red Cross has provided humanitarian aid in more than 108 countries this year.

Last January, the Red Cross experienced its worst blood shortage in over a decade, due to ongoing collection challenges and varied hospital demand during the pandemic. While the crisis was overcome, thanks to generous blood donors, the need for blood is constant. Hospitals in northern Ohio, as everywhere, need a reliable supply of blood to aid those in an accident, parents with complicated childbirths, individuals battling cancer, and people with sickle cell disease.

You can also help the Red Cross through donating blood or exploring volunteer opportunities.

Whether you care to donate finances, blood, or time, doing so will help the Red Cross continue its crucial, lifesaving mission.

What you need to know about the flu vaccine (and donating blood) this year

By Sam Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer 

Fall is here, and along with it comes flu season. If you are a regular blood donor, you may have questions about the flu shot and if it will affect your ability to donate blood (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t!). Even if you donate blood less frequently or you have not donated before, the American Red Cross of Northern Ohio answers some common questions about getting the flu vaccine and shares what you need to know about donating blood this fall and winter. 

Why should people get their annual flu vaccine? 

  • Getting your yearly flu shot is the best line of defense against the flu. If you do get sick, your symptoms might not be as severe if you are vaccinated. 
  • While some people may think getting the flu is no big deal, it can be serious – even for those who are healthy. 
  • Vaccination to prevent influenza is especially important for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications from the flu. Members of their household or those who are in close, frequent contact with individuals who are high risk should get vaccinated. 

Who should get the flu vaccine? 

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. 
  • There are different flu vaccines approved for different age groups and for some people, like those who are pregnant or have certain chronic health conditions. 
  • If you have any questions, talk to your primary care provider. 

What do I need to know about the flu vaccine and donating blood? 

March 11, 2019. Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Nashville, Tennessee. Photographs from blood bank at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, blood donations at Red Cross on Monday, March 11, 2019 in Nashville, Tenn. Photo by Sanford Myers/American Red Cross
  • Getting the flu vaccine helps to support a healthy community and ensure that patients have access to lifesaving blood products year round. 
  • When you get a flu shot, you don’t need to defer or delay your next blood donation. 
  • If you do get the flu, it is important to wait until you no longer exhibit symptoms and have recovered completely before attempting to donate. 

Can I get my flu shot and COVID-19 shot at the same time? 

  • It is safe to get your flu and COVID-19 vaccination shots at the same time.  
  • Talk to your health care provider to see if you are eligible to get your COVID booster or if you have any questions. 

Where can I get a flu vaccine? 

There are several places that offer flu shots in our community. You can check with your local pharmacy or schedule an appointment with your primary care provider’s office to get your vaccine. Additionally, some local county public health departments may offer flu vaccine clinics. Check your local county health department’s website for more information.  

How frequently can you donate blood? 

Have you considered donating blood this year? If so, you should know that you can donate more than once per year. You can provide whole blood donations every eight weeks (56 days), up to six times per year. You must wait 16 weeks (112 days) between Power Red donations. Platelet donors can give every seven days, up to 24 times per year. Plasma donors can give every 28 days, up to 13 times per year. As a thank-you, all who come to give Oct. 16-31, 2022, will receive a $10 e-Gift Card by email to a merchant of choice. 

The Red Cross holds blood drives across Northern Ohio regularly. You can help save lives by giving blood. To find an upcoming blood drive near you, visit www.redcross.org/give-blood.  

Edited By Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer 

Posted by Ryan Lang, American Red Cross board member and volunteer

Recognizing Red Cross phlebotomists during National Blood Collectors Week

By Christy Peters, American Red Cross Regional Communications Manager

Often, when I tell someone I work for the American Red Cross, I get one of two responses. The first is usually a story about how the Red Cross helped the person or someone they knew. The second reaction is an immediate explanation of how the person really wants to give blood but they’re nervous and they just don’t think they could ever do that.

I can make you feel better right now if you happen to be one of those people who’s never given blood. I didn’t start giving until I began working for the Red Cross and, even then, it took me a really long time to finally do it. What’s even worse? A big part of my job is talking about why we need more people to give! So, what made me finally take the plunge? Getting to know the amazing phlebotomists at the Red Cross.

I recently gave my 12th pint of blood and, as always, I was nervous as I went through the process. But I was lucky because that day, La’shawn Sims was my phlebotomist. She was incredible…funny, kind, enthusiastic and she calmed my nerves immediately. La’shawn has been with the Red Cross for three years as a phlebotomist/driver.

Red Cross Northern Ohio phlebotomist La’shawn Sims prepares blood products for transport during a blood drive at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

“I love my job because of its mission, the ability to help others save lives,” said La’shawn. “I love listening to the donors and the reasons why they donate.”

September 4-10 is National Blood Collectors Week, a time to recognize the amazing work done every single day at the Red Cross by phlebotomists like La’shawn. In the Northern Ohio Region nearly 100 individuals work in this role, helping to collect blood in communities across the Region. The position requires an individual to complete weeks of specific Red Cross training, both in the classroom and on the job, prior to working independently.

Northern Ohio phlebotomist Ariel Blanks prepares to draw blood from Martha Liechty at the 2022 Cleveland Browns Blood Drive

In addition to collecting blood, many staff members drive Red Cross trucks loaded with the equipment needed to set up and run a successful blood drive. The driver role often requires first heading to Regional headquarters in downtown Cleveland, loading the truck and then driving it to the blood drive location. Phlebotomists can also take additional training to learn how to collect Power Red or platelet donations, which require a different process than whole blood collection. Above all else, these individuals are the face of the Red Cross, helping donors through the blood donation process, ensuring a positive experience and hopefully, a lifetime of blood donations.

During National Blood Collectors Week, we give thanks to you – all the phlebotomists who are on the front lines each day, ensuring patients have the blood they need. And, even if you’re nervous like me, La’shawn encourages everyone to donate blood.

“It only takes 30 minutes of your time, and you’ll help save three lives with just one pint.” And, whether it’s La’shawn, or another great Northern Ohio collections staff member, you can know you’ll be in great hands.

Five ways you can give back this World Humanitarian Day

By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer

August 4, 2022. Fleming-Neon, Kentucky. American Red Cross volunteer Angela Daniel distributes a hot meal to those affected by the Kentucky flooding disaster. Emergency Response Vehicle make their way to various locations, bringing nourishing food and a word of encouragement to communities as they begin to recover. Photo by Kevin Suttlehan/American Red Cross

World Humanitarian Day is a day when we are all encouraged to come together and advocate for the well-being, survival and dignity of people who have experienced or are experiencing crisis around the world. This year’s theme from the United Nations is “It Takes A Village”—reminding us that whenever there are people in crisis, there are others who are there to help them. This year, they shine a light on the hundreds of thousands of volunteers, professionals and crisis-affected people who deliver urgent health care, shelter, food, protection, water and much more.

It’s a perfect day to recognize the thousands of dedicated volunteers and workers of the American Red Cross. They deliver lifesaving assistance every hour of every day, responding to an average of more than 60,000 disasters every year.

As we reflect on the meaning of this day, we are also encouraged to take action as humanitarians ourselves. This World Humanitarian Day, the Northern Ohio Region of the Red Cross has five ways you can give back and help to make the world a better place.

A blood donor giving blood at the 2022 Cleveland Browns blood drive in July

Donate Blood
Did you know that every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood or platelets? Giving back by donating blood can help ensure those who are in need of blood transfusions, including individuals undergoing surgery, cancer treatment, treatment for chronic illness and traumatic injuries.

If you are able to donate blood, it is a relatively easy process –
It only takes about one hour and 15 minutes, with the actual donation of whole
blood taking approximately eight to ten minutes.
Individuals can donate blood more than once per year. you can donate every
In most states, donors can start donating at age 17 and some states allowing
16-year-olds to donate with a signed parental consent form. You also must be
at least 110 pounds and be in good health.
Blood donor drives are held at locations throughout Northern Ohio. To find an
upcoming blood drive near you, click here.

Volunteer
Volunteering your time for a cause you believe in can have a huge impact on your community and the world. The Red Cross offers a variety of ways that you can give back depending on your skills, interests and time available. In fact, 90% of the Red Cross workforce are volunteers. They support areas such as blood drives, blood donation transports, health, mental health and spiritual needs, administrative support roles, supporting our armed forces and working with those who affected by natural disasters.

Make a Donation
Many non-profit organizations rely on generous donations from supporters. For many organizations, every dollar donated makes a difference. Some organizations, like the Red Cross, provide other ways for individuals to donate in addition to financial contributions.

June 22, 2018. Washington, DC. CPR stock photos by Roy Cox for the American Red Cross.

Learn a Lifesaving Skill
The Red Cross has been teaching emergency and safety training for more than a century. You can learn first aid, be trained in administering CPR or using an AED, to be prepared for when a need for these skills arises. You can review and sign up for a class here.

Advocate
Advocacy is an important way you can be a humanitarian. In order to advocate, it is equally important to educate yourself on the topics, organizations or causes you would like to advance. Here are a few simple ways you can get started.

Follow organizations on social media. For example, you can follow the Red Cross and the Northern Ohio Region of the Red Cross on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok just to name a few. Not only do they post facts and updates about the work that they are doing, but they also provide links for more information.
Participate in events like Turn and Test and other events that help to spread the word about a particular cause. Share information with friends and family and learn about causes that they are passionate about.

Read about the work of three Red Cross humanitarians here.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, Red Cross Volunteer

Posted by Ryan Lang, Red Cross Volunteer




“Tattoos!” A story and reminder about blood donation and tattoos for National Tattoo Day

By Christy Peters, American Red Cross Regional Communications Manager

1947 – Grandma & Grandpa’s engagement picture – photo courtesy of Christy Peters

One of my favorite stories about my grandparents happened on one of their early dates. They both lived in Canton and had recently started dating. One night, when my grandfather was driving my grandmother home, they had car trouble. Luckily for both of them, my grandfather worked as a mechanic. He pulled the car over to the side of the road and got out to inspect under the hood.

Grandma got out with him and once the hood was open, Grandpa began rolling up his sleeves to get to work. Suddenly he heard my grandmother scream, “TATTOOS!” Apparently, in all their time together, Grandpa had always worn long sleeves and had not revealed his two very prominent arm tattoos, courtesy of his time in the Army during World War II.

Grandma was shocked but I think most of her reaction had to do with what her parents, my great grandparents, were going to say when they found out she was dating a man with tattoos. Thankfully, everyone got over the scandalous tattoos and my grandparents went on to be married for 70 years until my grandmother passed away in 2019.

You’re probably thinking, “Great story but what does it have to do with the American Red Cross?” Well, if you didn’t know, July 17 is National Tattoo Day, a day that “recognizes the history, culture, and artists dedicated to etching ink permanently on the skin.” Unfortunately, many people think the Red Cross is just as shocked by tattoos as my grandmother was that night many years ago. People often tell me they can’t donate blood because they have a tattoo, or that they recently got a tattoo and think they must wait years before giving again.

Grandpa and his tattoos in 1952 – photo courtesy of Christy Peters

I’m writing this blog to let all of you with gorgeous ink know that none of that is true! In Ohio, there isn’t a deferral if your tattoo was applied with a sterile needle and fresh ink in a state regulated facility. If you received your tattoo in a different state, you can find out if that state requires you to wait to give here. And, even if you do have to wait, the deferral period is only three months, not years.

If you’ve not been donating because of tattoos, now is the perfect time to begin. During the month of June, the Northern Ohio Region collected nearly 2,000 fewer donations than needed to help meet patient needs. Your donation now will help us avoid a summer shortage. So, just like my grandpa did on that date, roll up those sleeves proudly and show off your tattoos while you help save lives! Find a drive near you and make an appointment today!

Posted by Ryan Lang, American Red Cross volunteer and board member

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer

Red Cross aims to increase African American blood donations to combat sickle cell disease and meet critical need

By Eilene E. Guy, American Red Cross Volunteer

Recently, I was talking with visitors at a family health fair, explaining the always- urgent need for blood donations. I was especially targeting African-Americans, asking what they know about sickle cell disease.

Interestingly, their responses ranged from a blank look to, “Yes, I lost a cousin to sickle cell.”

Keith Lofton of Olmsted Falls at a recent blood drive in Rocky River

Apparently this is not unusual, which is why the American Red Cross is leading a national drive to raise awareness and recruit more blood donors who are Black. This is because their blood is uniquely suited to help patients with sickle cell disease live full and comfortable lives.

“As an organization dedicated to alleviating suffering, the Red Cross is committed to the health and well-being of all communities, and a diverse blood supply is critical to improving health outcomes for all patients – especially those with sickle cell disease,” said Gail McGovern, CEO and president of the Red Cross. “For someone facing a sickle cell crisis, a blood transfusion can make a lifesaving difference.”

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a hereditary condition that can be life threatening. It leads to anemia (a shortage of red blood cells), causing fatigue and possible damage to blood vessels and vital organs. It often causes severe pain that can last for hours or days; it can even lead to disabling strokes.

In the U.S., it’s estimated that more than 100,000 people have SCD and roughly 1,000 babies are born with the disease every year. SCD knows no national boundaries, which is why June 19 is designated World Sickle Cell Day.

Blood transfusions from individuals of the same race or similar ethnicity and blood type are the most effective way to help patients experiencing a sickle cell crisis. Since the majority of people with sickle cell are of African descent, blood donations from Black individuals are critical in helping those suffering from this disease.

Sabrina Spikes works full time for the Red Cross to rally African-American civic and faith-based organizations to recruit and educate.

“It’s vital that we get the word out as much as possible, to get more blood donors who are Black,” she said. “Here in northern Ohio, we’ve seen an increase (in donor numbers), but we still have work to do. Especially in the summer, when blood donations tend to fall off.”

In addition to recruitment, Sabrina’s other priority is education: preparing potential donors for a successful experience at a blood drive.

“Preparation is key,” she said. “Drinking plenty of water and eating iron-rich foods is important. And cutting out caffeinated beverages — coffee, tea, sodas — that slow the absorption of iron helps cut the deferral rate of donors, especially African-American women.”

Sabrina herself carries the trait for sickle cell, although she does not have the disease. It was important for her to know that: If the father of her three children had also had the trait, the children would suffer from the life-long condition. Sadly, too many babies are born with SCD.

The need for blood is not limited to patients with sickle cell disease. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion, including women or girls experiencing childbirth complications, people fighting cancer, surgery patients and accident victims.

Bridget C. Miller Harper of Cleveland at the Browns Blood Drive in July, 2021

Fifty-one percent of people who are Black have type O (positive or negative) blood, in comparison to approximately 45% of white individuals. Type O blood is most often needed by hospitals to help patients, so donors who are Black play a critical role in meeting the constant need for blood.

Blood products have a limited shelf l-life and volunteer donors are the only source of blood and platelets for patients in need of lifesaving transfusions.

“My call to action is, schedule a blood donation appointment by visiting  RedCrossBlood.org, downloading the  Blood Donor App  or calling 1-800-RED CROSS,” Sabrina said.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, American Red Cross volunteer
Posted by Ryan Lang, American Red Cross volunteer and board member

Rock, Roll, and Ride with the Red Cross this World Blood Donor Day

By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer

June 14th is World Blood Donor Day, and the American Red Cross Can’t Help giving blood donors a chance to get All Shook Up, whether rocking and rolling with the legacy of Elvis at Graceland or on rides at Cedar Point.

The World Health Organization (WHO) created World Blood Donor Day to raise global awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products for transfusion, highlight the critical contribution of volunteer blood donors to national health systems, and help support and expand blood donor organizations’ programs. The WHO states, “Becoming a regular voluntary blood donor is a simple but selfless step that everyone can take to strengthen their communities, support local health systems and save lives.”

The Red Cross, which supplies about 40% of the U.S. blood supply, typically sees a drop in blood donations during the summer, but the need for blood does not take a break. On average, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds, including new moms, premature babies, cancer patients and accident victims. Each day, the Red Cross needs to collect about 12,500 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at about 2,500 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

And blood donors can now celebrate providing the gift of life with roller coasters and rock and roll!

In addition to helping save lives, through August 4th, generous blood donors at select blood drives in Northern Ohio will receive a free ticket to Cedar Point, while supplies last. To find a blood drive with this promotion, enter sponsor code “CEDARPOINT” when searching here or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

And throughout the U.S., the Red Cross is celebrating Elvis Presley–a blood donor himself who left a legacy of generosity and community service–rock and roll, and the new film, Elvis, with a chance to win a VIP trip for two to Memphis and Graceland! Through June 30th, those who come in to give blood will be automatically entered for a chance to win the trip, which includes round-trip airfare for two to Memphis, a three-night stay at The Guest House at Graceland and Elvis Entourage VIP tour, courtesy of Graceland, and $500 gift card for expenses, plus a custom-wrapped Gibson Epiphone guitar! Blood donors will also be sent a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of their choice. More information and terms and conditions are here.

Please visit redcrossblood.org to find a local blood drive. A blood donor app is also available, which makes it easy for donors to schedule and manage appointments, track the lifetime impact of donations, view health history information, and earn rewards. It is available at the above website, texting BLOODAPP to 90999, or searching “American Red Cross” in app stores.

Please help celebrate the gift of life, summer fun, the spirit of rock and roll, Elvis, and World Blood Donor Day by scheduling a donation. And thank you, thank you very much.

Student organizes blood drive and wins Red Cross scholarship

By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer

Did you know that American Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply? These critical blood donations come from individuals in our community who donate their blood during blood drives.

Andrew Lazowski

Andrew Lazowski, a high school student at Bay Village, decided he would coordinate a drive to help support the critical need for donors through the Red Cross’s Leaders Save Lives Program. He knew about the critical need for blood donations and how necessary they are for patients in an emergency. Several of his family members have held drives in the past and one of his family members also lost a battle with acute leukemia. Blood donations can help cancer patients, trauma patients and individuals with certain disorders, just to name a few.

With the help of Melissa Weiss, a Red Cross account manager, Andrew planned a blood drive at the local police station. Andrew found the help invaluable, saying, “she explained the technology and business aspects for the drive and was always encouraging and willing to answer any questions. She helped me with the recruitment process and provided items for me to include in a first-time donor basket.”

Through the blood drive, Andrew was able to recruit several of his friends as first-time donors and teach them about the blood donation process. “For my blood drive, I focused on recruiting my high school friends and classmates, none of whom had ever donated before,” said Andrew. “They are all signed up again to donate at my second blood drive and I am thrilled to know that I am making a positive difference for those in need.“

Individuals are eligible to donate blood at age 17, and in some states, people can donate starting at 16 with parental consent. The drive resulted in a total of 30 pints donated, which ultimately helped members in their community. Additionally, Andrew was chosen as one of the winners of the Leaders Save Lives Program scholarship drawings. He plans to use the $1,000 scholarship towards furthering his education in biology and pre-med.

Why should you or a student you know consider hosting a blood drive? “I would tell others that hosting a blood drive is fun and a unique way to give back to the community,” Andrew said. “Students will learn about what goes on behind the scenes in a nonprofit organization and the importance of supporting local blood drives.”

Holding regular blood drives in our communities helps to ensure a strong blood supply throughout the year. If you or someone you know is a student looking to give back to their community, the summer program is open from now until Aug. 31, 2022. The Red Cross also will be holding drives throughout Northeast Ohio for individuals to stop in and donate blood. You can find an upcoming drive near you by visiting redcross.org/give-blood.

The Leaders Save Lives Program encourages community-minded high school and college students to host blood drives during their school breaks. It provides students an opportunity to gain valuable leadership skills and community service by recruiting classmates, friends and family to donate blood. The student who plans and hosts the blood drive is then eligible for a gift card valued up to $200 and is eligible to be entered to win a Red Cross scholarship if at least 25 pints of blood are donated.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, Red Cross Volunteer

Blood donor hits goal set 18 years ago

By Tim Poe, Red Cross volunteer

Erin Muzechuk – Photo credit: CynthiaElaine

In April, Erin Muzechuk arrived at an American Red Cross blood drive set up in New Philadelphia’s New Town Mall and accomplished a goal she set 18 years ago, donating 10 gallons of blood.

This journey began when Erin was just 17 and saw a blood drive poster at Buckeye Career Center. She felt it could be a way to help others. Later, she watched a news story about a man donating his 10th gallon, thought she could do that, too, and hoped to inspire others to donate as well.

At age 35, Erin has reached that goal while inspiring many and saving hundreds of lives.

I asked Erin how she felt upon reaching her goal. “I’m happy that I was able to help so many people,” she said. “When I first started donating, I learned that each pint has the potential to help three people! Ten gallons means I helped up to as many of 240 people! I didn’t realize that until recently.”

Erin plans to continue donating blood but does not have another goal in mind.

Erin spoke of her fantastic experiences donating blood and helping people over the last 18 years. She speaks especially fondly of getting to know Jane Jarvis at Union Hospital, part of the Cleveland Clinic, in Dover, Ohio. “She’s a special lady,” Erin recalled of the hospital’s blood drive program leader.

Erin’s First Gallon Award

Erin also spoke highly of her experience with the Red Cross. Her favorite memory is the shock she felt upon being recognized for donating her first gallon when she was 19. She added, “I’m surprised and honored again to hear from the American Red Cross now that I’m 35!”

“We are so thankful for Erin and her commitment to regularly give the gift of life,” said Kim Kroh, Executive Director of the Red Cross of Heartland, Stark and Muskingum Lakes. “Without donors like her, we could not meet the needs of patients across northern Ohio.”

In addition to donating blood, Erin enjoys working at Litty’s Cakes & Cookies in New Philadelphia and spending time with her family and friends, whom she says she loves very much.

For those considering donating blood for the first time, Erin advised, “It’s just a little pinch in the arm, and it doesn’t hurt or take a lot of your time to donate. And you will help save a life!”

If you, too, are inspired by Erin and would like to donate blood, please visit redcrossblood.org.

A Times-Reporter article on Erin’s achievement is here.

Edited by Glenda Bogar, Red Cross volunteer

More than 260 donations made at the Give from the Heart at annual blood drive

For 23 years, the Give from the Heart blood drive has been a lifesaving tradition in Northern Ohio. This year’s event was held last Tuesday, Feb. 8 at the Cleveland Marriott East in Warrensville Heights.

This blood drive came at a vital time, as the Red Cross continues to struggle with a national blood crisis. The current nationwide shortage has been further impacted by winter weather across the country, with about 600 blood drives cancelled forcing 20,000 donations to go uncollected.


Across the Northern Ohio Region, 21 blood drives were cancelled Thursday, February 3 leaving more than 730 donations uncollected.

The more than 260 donations made at the Give from the Heart blood drive will potentially help up to 800 patients.

We encourage donors to make an appointment for future blood drives by visiting redcrossblood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.

If you are not able to give blood, the Red Cross also needs blood drive volunteers and blood transportation specialists to support critical blood collections. Blood drive volunteers play an important role by greeting, registering, answering questions and providing information to blood donors throughout the donation process. Blood transportation specialists provide a critical link between blood donors and blood recipients by delivering blood to hospitals our local communities. To learn more and sign-up, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.