Red Cross encourages blood donations

Published 10:11 am Monday, November 2, 2015

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to help ensure a sufficient blood supply throughout the holiday season.

According to a press release, seasonal decline in donations often occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel. However, patients don’t get a holiday vacation from needing lifesaving transfusions. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood.

Lorie Alwes remembers her father being called often to give blood — even on holidays. He had type O negative blood, the universal blood type.

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“One time it was in the middle of Thanksgiving dinner and off he went without hesitation,” she recalls. “He explained to us kids that his blood was used in emergency situations and could possibly save another life.”

Years later, Alwes learned that she also has type O negative blood. She has since donated whenever needed and has encouraged her 17-year-old son to carry on the lifesaving family tradition that was so important to his grandfather.

Donors with all blood types are needed, and especially those with types O negative, B negative, A negative and AB. All those who come to donate Nov. 25-29 will get a Red Cross mixing spoon and celebrity chef recipe set, while supplies last.

To make an appointment to donate blood, people can download the Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Alden-Conger High School in Alden; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 9 at Hy-Vee in Albert Lea; and 1 to 7 p.m. Nov. 30 at Emmons Lutheran Church in Emmons.