PORTLAND — During this season of giving, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give the gift of life to help ensure patients don’t have to worry about the availability of blood this winter. Blood and platelet donations of all types are needed, especially type O.

Holiday travel and severe winter weather often lead to a decline in blood donations. In Maine, seven blood drives have already been canceled since Nov. 1, resulting in 236 uncollected donations. However, a patient’s need for lifesaving treatment doesn’t take a vacation or stop for nasty weather. Blood and platelets are needed every day for those receiving treatment for cancer and leukemia, accident and burn victims and surgical patients, among others.

As a special thank you for being the lifeline for patients this holiday season, those who come out to give blood or platelets with the Red Cross through Jan. 5 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

To schedule an appointment to donate, download the free 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.

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.


Upcoming blood donation opportunities:


Jan. 2: noon to 6 p.m., Martin’s Point Scarborough, 153 US -1
Jan. 7: 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saint Maximilian Church, 150 Black Point Rd

South Portland
Jan. 15: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., South Portland Community Center, 21 Nelson Road
Jan. 13: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cinemagic Grand, 333 Clarks Pond Road

Jan. 13 and 14: noon to 5 p.m., University of New England, 11 Hills Beach Road

Old Orchard Beach
Jan. 8: noon to 5 p.m., Old Orchard Beach Town Hall, 1 Portland Ave.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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