Submitted by Sue Thesenga, ARC

ST. PAUL, MN – It can’t be wrapped or placed under a tree, but the perfect gift can help save patient lives this holiday season. The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give the lifesaving gift of a blood donation in December, a time when donations decline but the needs of patients remain steady. 

Donors of all blood types are needed this holiday season to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients. To encourage donations, all those who come to donate Dec. 22, 2016, through Jan. 8, 2017, will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

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.

American Red Cross Blood Donation Center - Chippewa Valley Blood Donation Center, 3485 E.Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire

Please check redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS  for current blood donation center days and hours.

Additional blood donation opportunities are available in the following counties:

Dunn – Elk Mound, 2/28/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Shepherd of the Hill Lutheran Church, 207 University St.

Pierce – Elmwood, 12/21/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Village Auditorium, 323 W. Winter Ave.; Prescott - 12/20/2016: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Joy Lutheran Church, 1435 St. Croix St.; River Falls – 12/29/2016: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Family Fresh Market, 303 S. Main St.

St. Croix – Emerald, 12/29/2016: 2 p.m. - 8 p.m., Living Word Chapel, 2746 Highway 64; Hudson, 12/16/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 505 13th St. S; 12/23/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Wal-Mart, 2222 Crest View Drive

How to donate blood - Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.