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American Red Cross

January is National Blood Donor Month

The American Red Cross thanks you for being a dedicated blood or platelet donor or for encouraging your friends and family to give blood. Blood donation is especially important during the winter months when inclement weather can cancel blood drives and seasonal colds and flu keep donors at home. If you are eligible to give, add "donate blood" to your list of New Year's resolutions during National Blood Donor Month and help the Red Cross maintain a stable blood supply this winter.

Let us know if you are giving a milestone donation in January!

January is National Blood Donor Month - patients in need thank you for giving!

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Committed donor reaches 100-gallon milestone

Bob Nelson

Bob Nelson was recently recognized for his commitment to helping to save lives by donating blood or platelets 357 times through the American Red Cross – the equivalent of approximately 100 gallons. That's nearly two 55 gallon drums worth of lifesaving blood products!

Nelson is a regular platelet donor, giving as many as 24 times each year. Platelets are small, colorless cell fragments in the blood whose main function is to interact with clotting proteins to stop or prevent bleeding.

African Americans' contributions are vital

Dr. Charles Drew

February is Black History Month, and the Red Cross celebrates the unique contributions of African Americans in helping patients in need.

The Red Cross' distinguished history is a testimony to diversity. Dr. Charles Drew, the original medical director of the first Red Cross blood bank, performed groundbreaking research in blood banking which became the staple for today's modern blood donation program.

By donating blood, African Americans can help the Red Cross meet the needs of patients. Throughout the year, there are regular shortages of both type O and type B blood. Those two blood types are more prevalent in African Americans than in any other population.

The Red Cross is grateful for our diverse supporters who help support us in our effort to save lives.

I'm helping to maintain a diverse blood supply by giving blood during Black History Month. Will you?

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Unlock your foursquare badge today!

foursquare Red Cross badge

You can now unlock a special Red Cross blood donor badge on foursquare. Simply check-in to the location where you give blood or platelets, then include a combination of the words "blood" and "Red Cross," along with any form of the word "donate" (i.e. donate, donated or donating), when you Shout what you're doing at the check-in location (i.e. "I'm donating blood with the Red Cross!").

Make sure to unlock the American Red Cross blood donor badge by using the foursquare app on your Smartphone during your next donation! Not on foursquare? Create a profile today. Don't forget to share your foursquare check-in and shout with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

Donating blood with the Red Cross? Shout about it on foursquare to unlock a special badge!

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Red Cross Blog

Red Cross Racing enters final laps

The checkered flag is about to wave on the 2010 Red Cross Racing program! Blood and platelet donors have until January 24, 2011 to report their donations, and January 31 is the last day to exchange points for Red Cross Racing-themed prizes. Participants can also choose to donate their points to support the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces program. Log on to for more details.

Need for blood doesn't take a snow day

Heavy snow, blowing winds and freezing temperatures can impact the steady flow of blood donations through the American Red Cross. But many patients can't take a "snow day" from needing lifesaving blood products.

This winter as inclement weather blows through your area, the Red Cross urges you to consider making a blood or platelet donation appointment when travel is deemed to be safe again.

Braving the winter elements? Learn how to be safe and prepared for the next big storm.

Diverse blood supply can help sickle cell patients

More than 70,000 people in the United States are affected by sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder that causes anemia, lung tissue and organ damage, strokes and terrible pain. Ninety-eight percent of all sickle cell disease occurs in people of African-American descent.

While there is no cure for sickle cell disease, regular blood transfusions can help reduce its complications. A diverse blood supply can help the Red Cross meet the needs of sickle cell patients and others in need.

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 Red Cross and blood donation!

Sandra Bartzen from Cottage Grove, Wis. is the November eNewsletter raffle winner of the Red Cross emergency radio!

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 golf umbrella!

Golf Umbrella

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 Bob Goetschkes, Bellevue, Neb.:

"I wear my Red Cross lapel pin all the time at school, so I use it to teach about citizenship. I discuss with the kids the idea that there are lots of things that need to get done in society that nobody pays you to do."

©2010 The American National Red Cross, 2025 E Street NW, Washington DC, 20006.