January is National Blood Donor Month

Photographer: John Meinke, Red Cross Volunteer

Photographer: John Meinke, Red Cross Volunteer

Make a resolution you can keep in 2016! Become a regular blood or platelet donor with the American Red Cross. January is National Blood Donor Month, which makes it the perfect time to schedule your first appointment of the new year.

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. Severe winter weather may result in canceled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can cause donors to be temporarily unable to give.

The Red Cross needs blood and platelet donors of all types to maintain a sufficient supply. Eligible donors with types O, B negative and A negative blood are encouraged to donate double red cells where available. During a double red cell donation, two units of red blood cells are collected while most of the plasma and platelets are returned to the donor.

Make your commitment to help save lives in the new year by using the Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS to schedule your appointment.

January is National Blood Donor Month

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January is National Blood Donor Month and this year, American Red Cross supporters have a new way to help save lives through blood and platelet donation with the Sleeves Up virtual blood drive.

SleevesUp is a first-of-its-kind website that lets you create a virtual blood drive and encourage colleagues, friends and family members to give blood or platelets, or make a financial donation – no matter where they are located across the country.

Creating a SleevesUp campaign is a simple four-step process:

  • Create an account at org/SleevesUp or log in with an existing Facebook or Twitter account.
  • Personalize the campaign with video, pictures or your personal story.
  • Set a goal and timeframe for the campaign.
  • Invite others to join the campaign via email or social media networks, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

IMAG6535_1National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 and recognizes the importance of giving blood and platelets while honoring those who roll up a sleeve to help patients in need. The winter months can be especially difficult to collect enough blood and platelets to meet patient needs. Inclement weather can result in blood drive cancellations, and seasonal illnesses, like the flu, can prevent some donors from making or keeping appointments to give.

Blood donors with all blood types, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are needed to ensure blood is available for patients. If you haven’t made a donation appointment yet for 2015, do it now at redcrossblood.org. Then, check out SleevesUp and invite others to join you making a lifesaving donation.

Why I Help: John Meinke, Madison, Wisconsin

By Andrea Coan, Red Cross Volunteer Journalist

1418832675579 John M - MadisonA talented new addition to our American Red Cross volunteer corps, John Meinke works on media and communications efforts with the Red Cross of Badger Chapter, as well as the South Central Wisconsin Region. Here, he makes his own unique contribution to the organization.

Meinke photographs volunteers and employees at blood drives, programs supporting the Armed Forces, disaster training events, and so much more. Awed by each person who gives back, Meinke feels lucky to have an opportunity to capture the strong individuals who work for the Red Cross.

“When I see Red Cross teams in action, I feel proud to be a part of something much larger than any individual involved,” said Meinke. “I know that my assignments, which are very important to me, are just a small part of what happens every day in the Red Cross.”

After retiring from a career in visual arts education, which included darkroom and digital photography, Meinke made the choice to join the Red Cross in 2013. He was determined to stay active and engaged in meaningful endeavors during his retirement, and felt volunteerism would be the ideal way to achieve this personal goal.

When he isn’t behind the camera, Meinke works on the Red Cross photo archive where he preserves the value and quality of photos representing the history of the organization. He works closely with Katie Gaynor, external communications manager of Red Cross Blood Services.

Meinke will never forget an encounter with a family at a blood drive in Portage, Wisconsin where he met two parents who took turns donating blood, while holding their newborn son. They wanted their young son to experience the “giving spirit” as soon as possible. Meinke felt a deep respect for this family, which put the value of giving at the center of their lives.

In his short time with the Red Cross, Meinke has already photographed some powerful images.

“In my work, I help others become aware of and understand the services provided by the Red Cross, but those who build and share shelter, nourishment, comfort or life-saving blood are true heroes,” said Meinke.

Observe National Sickle Cell Awareness Month this September by donating blood with the American Red Cross

Help maintain a diverse blood supply to meet the needs of all patients

 

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The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to help ensure a stable and diverse blood supply by giving blood in honor of National Sickle Cell Awareness Month this September.

Sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that causes red blood cells to form an abnormal crescent shape. It is estimated that sickle cell disease affects as many as 100,000 people in the U.S. Many of these patients face a lifetime of blood transfusions to help reduce the risk of stroke, damage to major organs and other complications that can arise as a result of sickle cell disease.

Since blood from donors of the same ethnic background as the recipient is less likely to cause complications, the Red Cross must maintain a diverse blood supply. This is particularly important for patients like those with sickle cell disease who may require regular blood transfusions.

To help increase donations during the month of September, those who come out to donate blood or platelets throughout the month will receive a coupon by email for a free haircut at participating Sport Clips locations.

For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, visit http://www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Brown County

  • Sept. 2 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 2 from 6:30-11:30 a.m. at Bellin Hospital, 744 S. Webster in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 3 from 12:30-5:30 p.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church, 437 Main St. in Wrightstown, Wis.
  • Sept. 4 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 5 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 991 Pilgrim Way in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 5 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 5 from 12-5 p.m. at Odd Fellows Building, 1144 Radisson St. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 6 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 8 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 8 from 12-5 p.m. at Resurrection Church, 333 Hilltop Road in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 9 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 9 from 1-6 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church, 2335 S. Webster Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 11 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at University of Wisconsin Green Bay Student Union, 2420 Nicolet Drive in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 12 from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Pilgrim Congregational Church, 991 Pilgrim Way in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 13 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.
  • Sept. 15 from 1-6 p.m. at American Red Cross, 2131 Deckner Ave. in Green Bay, Wis.

Kewaunee County

  • Sept. 15 from 1-6 p.m. at St John Lutheran Church, 700 Heritage Road in Luxemburg, Wis.

Marinette County

  • Sept. 8 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Pine Tree Mall, 2800 Roosevelt Road in Marinette, Wis.

Oconto County

  • Sept. 4 from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Mount Olive Lutheran Church, 206 N. Burk in Suring, Wis.

How to donate blood

 

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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.

 

Join us for the 100 Days of Summer!

redcross_100daysSummer is the season we’ve all been waiting for. It’s 100 days of high dives, ball games and barbecues. It’s 100 ways to dress a burger, catch some shade, or get out of town. It’s 100 chances to clear the calendar, and choose your day to give. As your summer calendar fills up, consider making time to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross!

The Red Cross is clearing its calendar for what’’s most important – saving lives! We invite you to join us as we count down the 100 chances to give hope this summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Click here to read amazing stories, participate in promotional giveaways and stay inspired all summer long! And be sure to stay connected on social media with #ChooseYourDay.

Please click here to schedule your appointment to donate and save up to 3 lives.

Unable to donate? Click here to volunteer.

 

World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day

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One in twenty-five people receive help from the global Red Cross network every single year. One in five hundred people in the world is a volunteer for the cause. Today—World Red Cross Red Crescent Day—we’re celebrating all the men, women, and children who have a Red Cross story to tell.

The Red Cross network transcends borders. Guided by its seven
fundamental principles:

  • humanity
  • impartiality
  • neutrality
  • independence
  • voluntary service
  • unity
  • universality

tumblr_static_my-story-headerRed Cross volunteers are inspired to help at every turn. They fly halfway around the world during international disasters, drive to nearby communities when tornadoes strike, and walk right down the street to teach swimming lessons. The network is so abundant, many people are touched by the Red Cross without even realizing it.

Nearly everyone has a Red Cross story. What’s yours? Share your Red Cross story at: http://ifrc.tumblr.com/

 

Red Cross Helps Arkansas Tornado Survivors with Shelter, Food and Relief Supplies

As severe weather threat continues, people should prepare and use free app alerts 

Tornado damage, Mayflower Arkansas 27April2014. Early reports and images show that Mayflower Arkansas suffered heavy damage.

The American Red Cross is helping people in Arkansas and several other states affected by Sunday’s devastating tornadoes.

More than 200 people spent Sunday night in shelters in Arkansas that were opened or supported by Red Cross workers. The Red Cross is also providing health and mental health services and Red Cross emergency vehicles will be distributing food throughout the affected areas.

“Our thoughts and sympathy are with all those impacted by these horrific tornadoes,” said Richard Reed, senior vice president, Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross. “Red Cross disaster teams are helping now and will continue to help for weeks to come.”

RED CROSS SENDS BLOOD The Red Cross provided several units of type O negative blood to two hospitals in Arkansas before the storm and supplied 40 units of plasma this morning to help treat those who were injured. The hospitals say they have a sufficient blood supply to handle the situation at this point. The Red Cross stands ready to assist with any additional blood needs. Anyone interested in donating blood should call 1-800-RED CROSS or your local blood bank to schedule an appointment in the weeks ahead.

The Red Cross also has shelters open in Oklahoma and is responding in northern Louisiana where flooding occurred after yesterday’s storms. Shelter and services also are being provided in North Carolina, which was hit Friday night by tornadoes.

SEVERE WEATHER NOT OVER The chance of severe storms is moving eastward today and could impact people in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee. Red Cross chapters in those areas are preparing to respond by readying shelters, supplies and volunteers.

support-american-red-cross-in-arkansas-disaster-relief-for-arkansasDOWNLOAD TORNADO APP People should download the Red Cross tornado app onto their mobile devices. They can use the app’s “I’m Safe” button to let loved ones know they are okay and find the location of Red Cross shelters. The app also includes a high-pitched siren and warning alert that signals when a tornado warning has been issued, as well as also an all-clear alert that lets users know when a tornado warning has expired or has been cancelled. The Red Cross sent out 2.1 million severe weather notifications over the weekend through its tornado app for tornado and thunderstorm watches and warnings.

If someone needs to find a shelter, they can contact their local Red Cross chapter or access the Red Cross shelter map which is updated every 30 minutes with shelter locations by address, city, state and/or zip code.

HOW TO HELP Those who would like to help people affected by disasters like tornadoes, floods and other crises can make a donation to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. People can donate by visiting http://www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations enable the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.