Red Cross and country music star Martina McBride urge Americans to give comfort through blood donation

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From The American Red Cross:

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. —The American Red Cross and country music star Martina McBride have joined together this holiday season to remind people to take care of one another, sharing comfort and joy with hospitals patients through the gift of blood donation. Health emergencies don’t pause for a pandemic or holiday celebrations. The Red Cross needs the help of blood donors across the country now to ensure patients continue to have access to lifesaving blood.

As the U.S. experiences a new surge in COVID-19 cases, the Red Cross is becoming increasingly concerned about the nation’s blood supply – including convalescent plasma. A convalescent plasma donation collects plasma from COVID-19 survivors because antibodies to the disease in their blood may help patients who are currently fighting the virus. Increased hospitalization of patients with coronavirus this fall and winter has caused the Red Cross to distribute a record number of COVID-19 plasma products to hospitals treating patients who are battling the virus.

This holiday season, Martina McBride is reaching out to country music fans and all eligible individuals, “If nobody has ever asked you to give blood before, I’m asking you to give blood – especially during this trying time.”

As a thank-you for helping meet the need for blood donations from Nov.15 through Dec. 15, Suburban Propane is offering blood, platelet and plasma donors a chance to win an Outdoor Living Experience, powered by Propane, to enable a lucky winner to enjoy socially distanced celebrations with family and friends this holiday season. The prize includes a propane-powered pizza oven, fire pit, outdoor heater and stipend towards propane.*

“Through our SuburbanCares initiative, giving back to our local communities is a top priority, and what better way to do that than to donate blood. Suburban is delighted to sponsor a Propane Experience Giveaway to help motivate more people to give the gift of life this holiday season,” said Nandini Sankara, spokesperson for Suburban Propane.

Eligible individuals are urged to make an appointment to donate blood now to help patients in need. Find a donation opportunity using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

“Giving comfort to patients by providing lifesaving blood products is fundamental to the Red Cross mission. However, it’s not possible without the support of generous blood donors and dedicated partners, like Martina McBride and Suburban Propane,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president at the Red Cross. “While we have certainly experienced unparalleled hardships this year, we have also witnessed great acts of kindness – like COVID-19 survivors rolling up their sleeves to share their antibodies with patients battling the illness. Donating blood, plasma or platelets is an act of kindness that truly makes a lifesaving difference.”

Lifesaving plasma brings joy and a second chance

Lacy Atkinson is a 37-year-old COVID-19 survivor, in part thanks to a stranger who rolled up their sleeves to donate convalescent plasma and help her body fight back. Atkinson’s life was turned upside down when she was hospitalized for COVID-19 in September. During her stay, infectious disease doctors tried multiple treatments to help her recover with limited success – but she just wasn’t getting better. “My oxygen levels were still low, and I had severe pneumonia in both my lungs,” Atkinson said.

Desperate to help her, doctors offered the one treatment they had left: convalescent plasma. Thankfully, this treatment helped her recover. “I felt such gratitude for the donor who helped me beat COVID. I have a husband, two kids and three dogs that I desperately wanted to get home to. I have a lot of life left to live! I’m so thankful that plasma was available when I needed it.”

COVID-19 antibody testing of blood donations

The Red Cross is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies which helps provide insight to donors concerning possible prior exposure to this virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within one to two weeks through our Red Cross Blood Donor App or on the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. As part of this effort, plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma. Each week, whole blood donors with COVID-19 antibodies are helping to contribute between 350-500 units of potentially lifesaving convalescent plasma for patients in need.

The Red Cross is not administering diagnostic tests intended to diagnose illness. As such, to protect the health and safety of our staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Blood donation safety precautions

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.  

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 16-Dec. 15:

Broome

Binghamton

11/16/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Holiday Inn Binghamton Downtown, 2-8 Hawley Street

11/17/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Michael’s Orthodox Church, 296-298 Clinton Street

11/19/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Church of the Nazarene, 1282 Chenango St

11/21/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Broome County Cornell Cooperative Extension, 840 Upper Front Street

11/25/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Christ Episcopal Church, 10 Henry Street

12/1/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Harvest Binghamton, 1807 Hawleyton Road

12/1/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Taste New York Building, 840 Upper Front Street

12/3/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Chenango Bridge UMC, 704 River Rd

Conklin

11/27/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Conklin Volunteer Fire Department, 1034 Conklin Rd

Endicott

11/18/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Endicott Community, 620 E Main Street

11/19/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Maine Endwell Middle School, 1119 Farm to Market Rd #1197

12/1/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Lady of Good Counsel, 701 W Main Street

12/3/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Church of the Holy Family, 3600 Phyliss Street

12/8/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Union Center Christian Church, 950 Boswell Hill Road

12/10/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Endicott Community, 620 E Main Street

12/12/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Central United Methodist Church, 17 Nanticoke Ave

Glen Aubrey

11/23/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Glen Aubrey Fire Company, 32 Octagon Street

Johnson City

11/20/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive

11/27/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive

12/4/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive

12/8/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Traditions at the Glen, Hotel & Spa, 4101 Watson Blvd

12/11/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 365 Harry L Drive

Port Crane

11/27/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sanitaria Springs Fire Company, NYS, 811 NY-7

Vestal

12/2/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Bridgewater Church Vestal, 2101 Owego Rd

Whitney Point

11/20/2020: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Point Bible Church, 2938 US Route 11

Windsor

11/19/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Windsor United Methodist Church, 56 Chapel Street

_______________

Chenango

Afton

11/27/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Afton United Methodist Church, 34 Spring Street

Greene

11/25/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Church of the Immaculate Conception, 1180 State Highway 206

New Berlin

12/2/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Unadilla Valley Central School, 4238 State Highway 8

Norwich

11/20/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Guernsey Memorial Library, 3 Court Street

Sherburne

12/4/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Post 876, 15 South Main Street

Tioga

Apalachin

11/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Apalachin Fire Department, 230 Pennsylvania Ave

Owego

11/25/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Owego United Methodist Church, 261 Main Street

Waverly

11/19/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Waverly United Methodist Church, 158 Chemung Street

_______________

Tompkins

Dryden

11/18/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Dryden Fire Department, 26 North Street

11/30/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dryden Fire Department, 26 North Street

12/7/2020: 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Dryden Fire Department, 26 North Street

Ithaca

11/17/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Enfield Fire Department, 172 Enfield Main Rd

11/17/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

11/20/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

11/23/2020: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

11/24/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tompkins County Library, 101 E Green Street

11/27/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

11/30/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Tompkins County Library-Employees, 101 E Green Street

12/2/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

12/3/2020: 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

12/4/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

12/8/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

12/10/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Catherine of Sienna Parish, 309 Siena Drive

12/10/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., The Shops at Ithaca Mall, 40 Catherwood Rd

12/11/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Danby Community Church, 1859 Danby Road

12/12/2020: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, 114 Burleigh Dr

_______________

Susquehanna

Hallstead

12/4/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., American Legion Post 357, New York Avenue, Route 7

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