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 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.

Local blood donors testify on World Blood Donor Day

By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer

Today is World Blood Donor Day, a day where organizations around the world highlight the importance of safe blood, platelet and plasma donations provided by individuals around the world, and right here in our own backyard.

Donors are especially important at times like these, during the severe blood shortage currently being experienced, due to increased hospital demand, as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries have risen, depleting the nation’s blood supply.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. need blood and/or platelets. It is essential for people having surgery or cancer treatment, individuals who experienced a traumatic injury and those with certain chronic illnesses. The American Red Cross provides about 40% of our nation’s blood and blood component supply, collected from generous volunteer donors at blood drive events throughout the year.

This World Blood Donor Day, we’d like to highlight some of our recent Northern Ohio blood donors and their words of encouragement to others about donating blood.

“Once you get started, you won’t want to stop. It is very rewarding.  Even when I did not have a high enough Iron level, I was not deterred. I kept trying. I kept going,” says Roberta Koester from Chardon.

Linda Goeke from Hudson said, “I love getting the messages that my blood has been sent to such and such a place to help someone in need.”

And finally Brenda Turek from Boardman talk about how little time it takes to donate: “It is easy. For me it is one hour from the time I leave home to the time I get back home.“

It’s with donation from donors like you, that life-saving blood can be provided to people when they need it the most. Only 3% of age-eligible people donate blood yearly, and with each new donor, we are able to better meet the supply needed.

To learn more about the donation process and to find a blood donation drive near you, visit