SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as 99¢ for the first month
SUBSCRIBE NOW
As low as 99¢ for the first month

Give thanks for good health by giving at the 16th annual Thanksgiving Day blood drive

Sean Ellertson
St. James Plaindealer

The American Red Cross will host the 16th annual Thanksgiving Day blood drive at the National Guard Training Center, 521 Armstrong Blvd. N., from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. All who come to donate will receive a complimentary pie, courtesy of Superfair Foods, and a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, courtesy of Suburban Propane! Ltd., while supplies last.

The St. James Thanksgiving Day blood drive is an annual tradition and is the only Red Cross community-sponsored Thanksgiving Day blood drive in Minnesota. In the past 15 years, nearly 3,000 blood donations have been given at this annual event.

“This Thanksgiving may be different for many families, but one thing remains the same – the need for blood donations,” said Cathy Stapel, Red Cross account manager. “Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of our communities, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need. We are thankful for the giving spirit of the St. James community who have made this Thanksgiving Day blood drive successful year after year.”

It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled, so the need for blood is constant. With no known end date to this pandemic, the Red Cross needs the help of donors and blood drive hosts to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS and using sponsor code: STJAMESMN or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Important COVID-19 information for donors

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

About blood donation

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.