Submitted by Sue Thesenga, ARC

ST. PAUL, MN – During Red Cross Month in March, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to join in its lifesaving mission by giving blood.

Since 1943, every U.S. president has designated March as Red Cross Month to recognize how the Red Cross helps people down the street, across the country and around the world.

Red Cross Month is a celebration of the everyday heroes, like Karla Essmiller, who are the face of the Red Cross in their communities. Essmiller began donating blood and even coordinated a few blood drives when she was in college. “Donating blood is a simple gift that I can make that may  help up to three people live another day,” she said. “That makes me feel like a hero!” 

The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide.

Make an appointment to become a hero to patients in need by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

American Red Cross Blood Donation Center - Chippewa Valley Blood Donation Center, 3485 East Hamilton Avenue, Eau Claire, Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 12:30 – 6:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m., Saturdays: 7 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Additional blood donation opportunities: Eau Claire Co. - Eau Claire, 3/7/2016: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Davies Center, 105 Garfield Ave., 3/8/2016: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, Davies Center, 105 Garfield Ave., 3/10/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Olaf Catholic Church, 3220 Monroe St.

Pierce Co. - Plum City, 3/14/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Legion, 132 Pine St., Prescott

3/3/2016: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Prescott High School, 1220 St Croix St., River Falls

3/7/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., River Falls Library, 140 Union St., Spring Valley

3/4/2016: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Spring Valley Area Ambulance, S. 407 Newman Ave.

Saint Croix Co. – Baldwin, 3/15/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Gethsemane Lutheran Church, 1350 Florence, Glenwood City, 3/3/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Glenwood City High School, 850 Maple St., Hudson, 3/1/2016: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Hudson Hospital & Clinic, 405 Stageline Road, 3/10/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Bethel Lutheran Church, 920 3rd St., 3/10/2016: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 502 County Road UU, 3/11/2016: 12:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Hudson YMCA, 2211 Vine St., New Richmond, 3/2/2016: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., The Deerfield, 1127 W. 8th St., 3/2/2016: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., National Guard Armory, 1245 Wall Street

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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.