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Red Cross: There’s urgent need for blood donations

Give by Dec. 19 and receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card

The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donors to give now to ensure blood is available for medical treatments and emergencies during the holiday season.

Blood donations often decline during the holidays. Regular donors are busy with holiday activities, and travel and severe winter weather may cause blood drive cancellations. Yet donations remain critical for patients in need. Donors are urged to give now to ensure that families don’t have to worry about the availability of blood this winter.

In thanks for helping meet the urgent need around the holidays, all those who come to donate blood or platelets now through Dec. 19 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email.

Make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Another way to help keep the blood supply strong is to host a Red Cross blood drive this winter. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Some area blood donation opportunities:

Maywood: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4, Loyola University Center for Fitness, 2160 S. First Ave.

Bolingbrook: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 7, The Promenade Bolingbrook, 631 E. Boughton Road

Warrenville: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dec. 9, Sant Nirankari Mission, 1S750 Route 59

Roselle: noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 11, Clarke, 159 N. Garden Ave.

Naperville: 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Dec. 13, Fry Family YMCA of Metro Chicago, 2120 W. 95th St.

Melrose Park: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 18, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, 701 W. North Ave.

Joliet: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dec. 21, Louis Joliet Mall, 3340 Mall Loop Drive

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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.