Though spring has officially arrived, the American Red Cross blood supply is still recovering from severe winter storms in March. Donors of all blood types are urged to roll up a sleeve and help save lives.
Winter weather in parts of the country forced more than 270 blood drives to cancel, resulting in over 9,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations in the first two weeks of March. No matter the weather, the need for blood to help cancer patients, those undergoing surgeries, trauma patients and others remains.
Volunteer blood donors from across the country are needed to help ensure lifesaving blood products are available for patients this spring. 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).
Locally, there are two blood drives scheduled for Oakdale in early April.
On Tuesday, April 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., a blood drive is scheduled at Ball Corporation, 300 W. Greger St., and on Thursday, April 5, donors can stop by the Bianchi Community Center at 110 S. Second Ave., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
March is Red Cross Month and the Gold Country Region is asking people to become a hero by giving blood or becoming a volunteer.
“The Red Cross is powered by our volunteer heroes who give of their time, talents and compassion to fulfill our vital humanitarian mission of preventing and alleviating human suffering,” said Stephen Walsh, Regional Communications Director for the Gold Country Region. “They are people from your neighborhood who donate blood, who teach First Aid and CPR classes, who support those in need at what may be the worst time in their lives. We honor them during Red Cross Month and ask you to consider joining us and making a difference.”
March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to raise awareness of the organization and its humanitarian mission. President Roosevelt’s last radio talk to the nation on March 20, 1945 was in support of the Red Cross War Fund. He died 23 days later, on April 12, 1945.
This year the Red Cross salutes all the heroes who make a difference in their communities by donating blood or platelets, volunteering to help people impacted by a disaster, taking a first aid or CPR class to help in an emergency or providing comfort to a member of the military, a veteran or their family
Home fires are the most common disaster the Red Cross responds to. In the Gold Country Region, volunteers have responded to 618 home fires since Jan. 1, 2018 and served 4,270 clients in that time. The Red Cross trains and provides information to nearly 5.9 million people in first aid, water safety and other skills that help save lives, collects nearly 4.9 million units of blood from more than 2.8 million volunteer donors to meet the needs of patients at hospitals and transfusion centers across the country and provides nearly 391,000 support services to military members, veterans and their families.
Volunteers also help more than 181 million people outside the U.S. through disaster management and disease prevention efforts.
For more information on how you can help, visit redcross.org.
The Gold Country Region serves a 24 county territory including both Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties in addition to Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba.