It had been about five years since Ellen Eoff last donated blood. “I heard about the shortage,” she said as she rested on a donor bed at a recent blood drive at the Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights. “I’m vaccinated and felt comfortable about donating blood again.”
Ellen was one of 44 people who donated at the blood drive, helping the American Red Cross address a severe blood shortage, as hospitals respond to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, organ transplants and elective surgeries.
In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine – like Ellen – can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.
Currently, the Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet current demand. That’s why donations like Ellen’s are so important.
“I donate for the public good,” said Michael Melincoff, who has been a Red Cross blood donor for more than 40 years. “I donate 2 to 4 times a year,” he said. He also makes financial donations in response to disasters.
Patricia Moyer said she’s working toward donating her second gallon of blood. “It was there when I needed it,” she said, referring to a past surgical procedure she experienced.
WEWS News 5 reporter Caroline Sweeney and photographer Anthony Garcia helped the Red Cross spread the word about the blood shortage by covering the blood drive. You can see their report here.
To thank donors who help refuel the blood and platelet supply this month, all who come to give July 7-31 will receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card via email and will also receive automatic entry for a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). More information and details are available at rcblood.org/fuel. Also, all those who come to donate throughout the entire month of July will be automatically entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm. To learn more, visit rcblood.org/CedarFair.
Donors who give now will help stock the shelves for the rest of the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.