Blood Donation

Shantay Jones donates blood on March 15, 2011, during a drive at Rocky Mount Medical Park.

The Red Cross is teaming up with the NFL with a prize giveaway to inspire donors to give blood during some of the most critical months of the year.

Donors who donate blood through Jan. 19 are eligible to win a prize package trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

Executive director of the Northeastern Chapter of the American Red Cross Mace Robinson said nationwide, the Red Cross collected about 7,000 fewer blood and platelet donations the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s than is needed to sustain a sufficient blood supply.

“Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood,” Robinson said. “We strive to keep a five-day supply of all blood types on hand at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that would require significant volumes of donated blood products.”

Robinson added that the Red Cross monitors the blood supply on a daily basis and works with hospital partners to prioritize needs.

“As a national system and the nation’s single largest blood services provider, we strive to ensure blood products are available for all patients no matter where or when they need it,” he said.

Every day, the Red Cross must collect 2,600 platelet and nearly 13,000 blood donations for patients in about 2,500 hospitals nationwide. In eastern North Carolina, the Red Cross needs to collect about 220 blood donations every day to meet the demands of patients.

The NFL hopes by offering a prize package, more donors will give during the upcoming weeks when blood donations typically decrease. Donors who donate blood or platelets through Jan. 19 will automatically be entered for a chance to win two tickets to the championship game.

Robinson said winter weather keeps donors from coming out to donate this time of year.

“Since it’s early in the season, we could see additional declines in donations as a result of anticipated winter weather. Snow, ice and extreme temperatures last January and February forced hundreds of blood drive cancellations, causing about 25,000 blood and platelet donations to go uncollected,” Robinson said. “It’s important to remember that it’s the blood products already on the shelves that help save lives in an emergency and when severe weather hits.”

Upcoming local blood drives include:

  • 2 to 6 p.m. today at West Edgecombe Ruritan Building in Rocky Mount
  • 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Honeywell Corp. on Wesleyan Boulevard in Rocky Mount
  • 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Thorne’s Chapel Baptist Church in Rocky Mount
  • 12:15 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Baptist Church in Sharpsburg
  • 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Jan. 20 at Nashville United Methodist Church
  • 1 to 6 p.m. Jan. 22 at Benvenue Country Club
  • 3 to 7 p.m. Jan 23 at West Mount Volunteer Fire Department
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Jan. 25 at Union Hill Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville
  • 3 to 7 p.m. Jan. 27 at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Rocky Mount
  • 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 28 at N.C. Wesleyan College
  • 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 31 at Nash Community College

Visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to find more donation events.