Following several rounds of severe winter weather in many parts of the country, the American Red Cross urges eligible blood and platelet donors to help restock its shelves to overcome a shortage.
Since Dec. 1, about 300 blood drives across 27 states have been forced to cancel due to inclement winter weather, resulting in more than 10,500 blood and platelet donations going uncollected. Despite the weather, hospital patients still rely on transfusions.
Blood donor Jim Taylor knows how it feels to have a loved one waiting for a transfusion. His son Aaron was born with a rare liver condition. In the short two months of his life, he received 115 blood products. Taylor said each transfusion gave his family more time with Aaron, so he encourages others to give.
“When the Red Cross says there is a shortage, they are not exaggerating,” said Taylor. “I now know from experience that what they are saying is somewhere there is a father waiting on the donation that will save his son’s life. When the Red Cross asks for help, what that means is a new dad is praying for a miracle.”
For the tenth year, the Red Cross and Dunkin’ Donuts have partnered in January to help increase donations and reward generous donors. Through the Dunkin’ Donors Make a Difference campaign, all those who come to give blood or platelets now through Jan. 31 at Red Cross blood drives in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and parts of New York will receive a $5 Dunkin’ Donuts card. The $5 DD card can be used toward the purchase of any item at participating Dunkin’ Donuts – including coffee, hot chocolate and baked goods, among other items.
Upcoming blood drives in the local area:
Feb. 9: The Berlin VFW, 1107 Main Street, Berlin from noon to 5 p.m.
Jan. 24: Congregational Church, 147 Main Street, Colebrook, from noon to 5 p.m.
To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to save time when donating.