Lifeblood employees Sarah Smith and Jennifer Gladstone pose at Lifeblood’s 6th annual Donor Fest celebration on Saturday, June 13 at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School. Photo courtesy of Lifeblood.

Lifeblood, Red Cross urgently need blood donations now

Summer blood shortages happen when many people are busy with vacations or prepping for school, not taking time to donate a pint. But the need for a generous blood supply never goes away. Two local blood bank agencies are now asking for the public’s help.

The American Red Cross said the emergency summer blood shortage began back in July. All blood types are needed, especially Type O. According to the Red Cross, blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 16 weeks.

Upcoming blood drives include:

  • Noon-4 p.m. Aug. 16 at Homer Skelton Ford, 6950 Hanna Cove, Olive Branch, Miss. (American Red Cross)
  • 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at Andy B’s, 6276 Stage Road, Bartlett (Lifeblood)
  • 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 27 at the American Red Cross Chapter Memphis, 1399 Madison Ave., Memphis (American Red Cross)
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Aug. 31 at Saint Francis Hospital-Bartlett, 2986 Kate Bond Road, Bartlett (Lifeblood)

Through Aug. 31, Lifeblood will automatically enter donors in a drawing for a dream vacation. For one lucky winner (age 21 or older), Lifeblood will cover the transit and lodging costs up to $6,000 for the destination of the winner’s choice. Also see lifeblood.org/Hero-Rewards/Donor-Rewards-Program for more information on rewards for donors.

Lifeblood donations can be made with or without appointments at local centers. See a list of locations at lifeblood.org/Locations. You can also find a mobile drive near you by visiting clublifeblood.us and entering your ZIP code.

The Red Cross is giving blood/platelet donors a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email for donations made through Aug. 30. See more details at RedCrossBlood.org/Together. Those who can’t attend these mobile blood drives are invited to make individual donations at centers. Download the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment.

Lifeblood, a Blood Systems blood center, is the Memphis region’s only non-profit volunteer blood center. Every year it supplies more than 100,000 units of blood and blood products for local patient transfusion. Because Memphis is the eighth largest medical center in the United States and hosts the second busiest trauma center in the nation at The Med, the need for blood is constant.

Among its many humanitarian services, the American Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood. It is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public.