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American Red Cross

January is National Blood Donor Month

Red Cross platelet donor Mark Junod.
Red Cross platelet donor Mark Junod.

During National Blood Donor Month the Red Cross celebrates you – our generous supporters who help save lives! Four million of you rolled up your sleeves last year to give blood through the American Red Cross, thousands more volunteered time and energy to host blood drives. While patients rely on your gifts of time and blood every month of the year, in January the Red Cross makes a special effort to recognize and thank you for providing hope to patients in need.  

National Blood Donor Month

Share the reasons why you give blood and visit our Facebook page to learn why other Red Crossers donate. Visit this link to learn about all American Red Cross volunteer opportunities.

Gift of life with bear hugs

Omaha officers delivered holiday teddy bears to patients at Children's Hospital.
Omaha officers delivered holiday teddy bears to patients at Children's Hospital.

Frequent apheresis platelet donors not only give lifesaving platelets to patients in need, they also earn teddy bears for hospitalized children as part of the Cubs for Kids program.

Each Red Cross teddy bear is delivered with a personal note from the platelet donor. One donor recently sent the following wishes: "Best to you – hope this bear finds you feeling better." The bears offer children comfort and hope during their hospitalization.

Visit this link to learn more about platelets and apheresis platelet donation.

Calling all type O negative donors

There is currently a greater need for type O negative blood donations. A recent surge in patient usage has increased the need for type O negative, often called the universal blood type because it can potentially be transfused to anyone.

In an emergency, type O negative can be used for trauma victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant recipients, and premature babies.

While all blood types are needed to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients this winter, type O negative is especially needed right now. Visit or call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) today to schedule your next donation appointment. Check your eligibility by visiting this link.

Second chance for first-time donor and wife

Randy and Wendy Aide
Randy and Wendy Aide

Randy Aide had good reason to become a first-time donor in November 2009 – blood donors helped save the life of his wife Wendy.

"She had a lot of pain in her side. I could tell by looking at her that her stomach was getting a bit bigger and she jaundiced so I decided that we had to go to the hospital," said Randy. "At the hospital, they did a CT scan and found a blood clot in her portal vein."

Wendy was hospitalized for about a month – with Randy at her side. In one evening she required a transfusion of 25 pints of blood. "Without the wonderful doctors and blood donors, she wouldn't be here today," Randy says.

"I'd never thought about donating blood before. It was easy – there was nothing to it. I didn't even feel it. It only took about 10 minutes. I'll continue to donate forever," Randy said. "Because of blood donors, Wendy got a second chance. We both got a second chance."

Visit this link to read other paitent stories.


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Red Cross Racing enters final laps

Red Cross Racing is speeding to a finish! Have you logged all your points?

Your blood donations are so important that we want to give you an extra thanks for taking the time to give. If you donate between December 21, 2009 and January 8, 2010, Red Cross Racing will give you 50 bonus points for each donation you report online.

Don't forget to redeem your points! All points must be exchanged by January 31, 2010.

Healthy living

Stop the spread of the flu by following the three "Cs".

  • Clean and wash your hands frequently.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze into a tissue or sleeve, not your hand.
  • Contain your germs; stay home if you are sick.

You should also prepare a cold and flu kit for you and your family. Click here to learn the facts about the flu.

Remember – you are eligible to give blood immediately after getting the flu shot (H1N1 or seasonal) if you feel symptom-free!

Take Your Pulse

Visit this link and let us know if you've ever donated blood in a state other than where you live?

Check Your Pulse

View November eNewsletter survey results asking which Red Cross services story gave you the most hope.

Sounding Off

We wish we could list all the great feedback we get from donors, but there's only so much room. Here's one response from Marilyn Whittington of Marquette Heights, Ill.

"Some people, I guess, need an incentive to get motivated. Being able to help somebody live with my donation of blood gives me a great feeling. As long as I am able, I'll be donating blood."

Thank you for spreading the word!

Thanks to all of the Red Cross donors who forwarded the November eNewsletter to at least five friends and helped spread the word about the importance of blood donation!

Nancy Moritz, of Emily, Minn. is the November raffle winner of a vintage-style Red Cross messenger 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 will automatically be entered into a raffle to win an American Red Cross 2010 calendar.

2010 Calendar

©2009 The American National Red Cross, 2025 E Street NW, Washington DC, 20006.