American Red Cross Calls for Winter Heroes to Host Blood Drives
ST. CLOUD-- Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. More than 80 percent of all donations are made at blood drives, but during winter months, holidays and poor weather can cause huge decreases.
With winter blood supply shortages predicted, the American Red Cross hopes to get ahead of the curve. American Red Cross spokeswoman Sue Thesenga says the winter months of November, December, and January are difficult for several reasons.
Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Years fall within that time frame, and people don't have blood donation on their to-do list during that time. They're typically busy with seasonal activities. The other challenge is winter weather. When Minnesota experiences winter, often times blood drives are canceled.
Between relief response and over a dozen cancellations along the East Coast, Hurricane Michael is already putting additional pressure on blood supply.
Thesenga says hosting a blood drive is easier than you may expect.
There's only a few things that the host is responsible for, and that's one: identifying a location. We prefer a large, open space like an auditorium, or a library, or a gym. Then we also ask the host to publicize the blood drive and recruit blood donors and then provide a few volunteers the day of the blood drive.
The Red Cross estimates around 500 additional groups in the Minnesota region are needed to host drives this winter to make sure blood will be there for patients who rely on it.