American Red Cross asking you to “roll up your sleeves” this holiday season

American Red Cross wants you to donate this holiday season. All blood types are needed.
American Red Cross wants you to donate this holiday season. All blood types are needed.

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Donating blood is considered the “gift of life.”

But unfortunately once the holidays hit, some people aren’t giving.

In the United States, someone needs blood every two seconds.

It’s a tough need to fill when blood donations are down.

Cameron Branock is the District Manager with the American Red Cross.

He says, “As we get closer to the holidays it gets more difficult for us to collect enough blood products to supply the hospitals for the patients that need them.”

Branock says blood donations were low during the summer months, and after a temporary rebound, another cycle of low donations are ahead.

He says, “Right now the Red Cross does have an urgent need for donors. We issue urgent needs whenever our supply gets below a certain level for our hospitals meaning that we are trying to ramp up our collections to meet needs of those hospitals.”

It’s a precautionary measure to prepare for the winter months ahead.

Djanedi Cardwell is the Marketing Specialist with Union Hospital.

She says, “Those normal donors aren’t giving like they usually do because they’re on the road and they’re traveling. At the same time with more people on the road, there tends to be more accidents where blood is needed in those situations.”

She says there’s a noticeable drop in the blood supply starting in November.

But, patients should be at ease that they will get what they need.

Cardwell says, “Any blood that’s needed is accounted for ahead of time rather than running low and making a call for donations.”

Branock says the hospital is covered by a national inventory system.

He says, “If for some reason we have an area where we struggle to collect blood collections whether it is holiday-related or weather-related, we can send blood products across the country to the people who need it most.”

But just because this system is in place, doesn’t mean you should skip the blood drive, or not make your regular donation appointment.

The need for blood is constant.

Branock says, “There is a great need for blood donors just in the Terre Haute area to supply our hospitals here, including Union Hospital right here in Terre Haute. So, if you could roll up your sleeve this holiday season, we’re giving gifts right for Christmas and things like that, so donating blood really is giving the gift of life, which is an awesome thing to do.”

There are several blood drives planned locally after Thanksgiving, all of which are open to the public:

Blood Drive Date: December 1st

  • Location: Indiana State University – Hulman Memorial Student Union
  • Hours: 1pm-6pm
  • Extra Incentive: Free Red Cross T-shirt with donation.
  • How to Sign Up: Call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “ISUTREES”

Blood Drive Date: December 2nd

  • Location: Union Hospital – Terre Haute
  • Hours: 8am-1pm
  • How to Sign Up: Call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “unionhospitalterre”

Blood Drive Date: December 30th

  • Location: American Red Cross Office -Terre Haute (700 S. 3rd Street)
  • Hours: 2pm-7pm
  • Extra Incentive: Free Long Sleeve Red Cross T-shirt with donation.
  • How to Sign Up: Call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “arcwabashvalley”