Emergency blood shortage persists as needs continue over the holidays

Published 8:00 pm Tuesday, November 23, 2021

As many prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving and look ahead at a busy holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors across the country to harness their humanity by giving blood in the coming weeks.

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year, according to a press release.

The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year — one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients. Locally, the Minnesota and Dakotas Red Cross Region has experienced a 25% decrease in new blood donors this year.

People are encouraged to make an appointment to give blood as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank you, all those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film
The Matrix Resurrections” for the winner and 50 of their guests. Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Albert Lea

Nov. 26: Noon to 6 p.m., Northbridge Mall, 2510 Bridge Ave.

Dec. 2: Noon to 6 p.m., Bridge Community Church, 2016 Bridge Ave.

Dec. 3: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Mayo Clinic Health System, 404 Fountain St.

Glenville

Nov. 29: Noon to 6 p.m., Round Prairie Lutheran Church, 12881 757th Ave.

Hollandale

Dec. 13: 1 to 6 p.m., Hollandale Christian Reform Church, 102 Amsterdam Ave. E.