Submitted by Sue Thesenga, ARC

ST. PAUL, MN — The American Red Cross is counting on volunteer donors to give blood and help ensure patient needs can be met this summer.

Around Memorial Day, the Red Cross sees a steep decline in blood donations. Busy summer schedules, vacations and school breaks also cause a drop in donations. Accidents and medical emergencies don’t take a summer break – patients need blood every minute, every day.

The public is asked to schedule an appointment to help ensure that hospitals and patients have the blood they need this summer. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets now through June 10, 2018, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.) Additionally, those who come to give May 25-29, will receive an exclusive Red Cross branded T-shirt, while supplies last.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities May 21 to June 15:
Pierce County – Ellsworth, 5/21/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Zion Covenant Church, 210 N. Beulah St.

River Falls, 5/25/2018: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., River Falls Library, 140 Union St. 5/30/2018: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., River Falls Area Hospital, 1629 E. Division St. 6/13/2018: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m., River Falls Municipal Utilities, 222 Lewis St.

St. Croix County – Baldwin, 6/7/2018: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Culver's, 640 Baldwin Plaza Drive. Glenwood City - 6/4/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 615 Maple St. Hudson, 5/21/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 505 13th St. S., 5/22/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Hudson Hospital & Clinic, 405 Stageline Road, 5/24/2018: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Keller Williams Realty, 2424 Monetary Blvd., 5/29/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Snap Fitness, 824 Carmichael Road, 6/11/2018: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Bethel Lutheran Church, 920 3rd St., 6/14/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Walgreens, 141 Carrmichael Road.

New Richmond, 6/13/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Legion Butler-Harmon Post 80, 1260 Wall St. Roberts, 5/21/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Cross Lutheran Church, 1246 County Road TT.

Woodville, 5/22/2018: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church, 221 N. Lockwood St.

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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.