WILKES-BARRE — With stay at home orders still in place for parts of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Blood Region, many locations that typically host blood drives remain closed.
As a result, the Red Cross is looking for air-conditioned sites that are willing to host a series of blood drives throughout the summer.
“In times of need, people come together to support one another,” stated a news release from Alana Mauger of the Red Cross. “The American Red Cross is asking organizations and individuals to step up to help patients experiencing health crises by hosting blood drives, volunteering as blood drive screeners or donating blood or platelets.”
To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit — RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Become a blood donor screener
The Red Cross is also in need of volunteers to serve as blood donor screeners at blood drives throughout the NEPA region. These volunteers are responsible for greeting and thanking donors, taking donor temperatures and sanitizing blood drive registration and canteen areas.
No special skills are required, and gloves, sanitizer, masks and training are provided.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities at the Red Cross and to sign up, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.
Continue to give blood
As COVID-19 continues to affect everyday life, people may not be thinking about blood donation. But blood and platelets are needed daily to help patients battling disease and facing the unexpected. Donating blood is an easy way to care for each other and ensure hospitals have the blood products patients rely on.
As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, all who come to give blood or platelets May 15-31 will receive a special Red Cross “We’re all in this together” T-shirt, by mail, while supplies last. Donors must have a valid email address on file to claim their T-shirt.
Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate this May by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, or by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff — have been implemented to safeguard donors, volunteers and employees.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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.
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Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.