Midwest flooding and tornadoes remind us that American Red Cross assistance can come in many forms
The American Red Cross has been in its largest flood relief effort in nearly 15 years. Throughout the Midwest and the country, more than 2,000 Red Cross workers are assisting people with vast amounts of clean up supplies, dozens of shelters and tens of thousands of meals. Some blood drives in flood-affected areas had to be cancelled, necessitating the need for blood donors in unaffected areas to help make up the shortfall. The generosity of neighbors throughout the Midwest has been remarkable, but more help is needed. Please consider donating your time, money and blood through your American Red Cross to aid in ongoing relief efforts and help prepare for the next disaster. Call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go online to redcross.org to learn how to volunteer or donate money. Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or go online to givebloodgivelife.org to learn about blood donation and schedule an appointment.
Wisconsin Super Donor
Deb Freitag looks for ways to help others. In high school, she became a blood donor at the prompting of her health teacher. When she received her donor ID card and discovered she has type O positive blood, a blood type in great need, she made a pact with herself that she'd donate blood as regularly as possible for the rest of her life. "I've kept that pact for over 13 years," she said.
Deb and her husband also volunteer at their church Red Cross blood drives every three months. She also shares the value of blood donation with her 7th grade "Project World" students and is teaching them how they can make a positive impact in their community. Since they are too young to donate, the students will recruit parents, relatives and friends to give blood at a drive they plan to host at their school next year. Click here for Deb's full story. Click here to find out how you or your organization can host a blood drive.
Rocking with the Red Cross to Meet the Need
Red Cross blood donors showed up to rock and help save lives this summer at Music Saves Lives blood drives across the Midwest Region. All donors who presented to give blood at these participating Music Saves Lives blood drives received a FREE backstage pass to The Vans Warped Tour.
The Red Cross staged a Music Saves Lives concert blood drive in Council Bluffs, Iowa on May 31 which included a meet and greet with Music Saves Lives band Motion City Soundtrack pictured below with Red Cross blood donor Cameron Ziegenfuss.
We can't wait to see you again next summer to rock and roll and help save even more lives.
Peggy Sellars gives gift of life by giving platelets
Peggy Sellars, a blood and platelet donor since the 1980's, has always known she could help patients by donating blood – people she may never know anything about. However, during the past year, Sellars has been called upon to help a specific patient in need.
A patient at the University of Chicago was hospitalized for an extremely low platelet count and was not responding to platelet transfusions – until she received Sellars' platelets that were a close match to her own.
Sellars now donates every time she is asked for this patient, even changing work and personal schedules to accommodate a donation. Sellars has heard that this patient recently received a bone marrow transplant and will continue to need platelet transfusions for the next three to four weeks until her new bone marrow begins to generate platelets.
"It is very rewarding to donate for someone," Sellars said. "I know I won't be able to meet her, but I would like to give her a hug."
Click here for information about why increasing your calcium intake prior to platelet donation can be important.
American Red Cross revs its engine
The American Red Cross has teamed up with 3M and Roush Fenway Racing to launch Red Cross Racing, a campaign to engage NASCAR fans as blood donors and raise awareness about the ongoing need for blood. Just for signing up online, participants have the chance to win an all-expense-paid trip to the Checker Auto Parts 500 at the Phoenix International Speedway on November 9! Click here to learn more about Red Cross Racing and a racing themed blood donor rewards program.
Thank you for spreading the word!
Thanks to all the Red Cross donors who forwarded the May eNewsletter to at least five friends and helped spread the word about the importance of blood donation!
Jean Swan, East Peoria, Ill. was the May raffle winner of a Red Cross vintage field bag.
You could be a winner this month. Everyone who forwards this eNewsletter to at least five people using the Send to a Friend feature above will automatically be entered into a raffle to win a Red Cross vintage t-shirt.
We wish we could list all the great feedback you send us about the eNewsletter, but there's only so much room. Here's what one reader had to say:
"I just got back from giving blood this afternoon. Good experience and there were four first-time high school donors. I started giving blood in high school over 45 years ago."
Click here for tips for a good donation experience.
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