Start a new tradition of giving lifesaving blood, find resources here

Outside of flu and cold season, it’s also the time of year when blood banks experience a drop in life-saving blood donations.

The American Red Cross says as they see an increase in the number of people getting sick and not being eligible to donate, the demand for blood stays constant. They also remind people that there are no deferral periods after getting either the flu or Covid shot or any boosters.

Dr. Lasky, the Medical Director for the American Red Cross, says there needs to be a constant flow of donors to maintain the blood supply. “Unlike other lifesaving treatments, blood donations cannot be stockpiled. Red cells have a shelf life of 42 days. Platelets, five days.”

The Red Cross estimates only about 3% of people eligible donate blood yearly. They encourage you to start a new tradition this holiday season, of giving blood.

You can find ways to donate blood below.

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks

Ahead of Thanksgiving, the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is offering a chance to win for those who donated blood on November 23, 2022.

“[CBCO] is offering blood donors the opportunity to help others and pick up one of the hottest gifts of the holiday season. One lucky donor that gives at a CBCO donor center on Wednesday, November 23 will win a new iPhone 14.”

“All participants who donate during the Thanks-for-Giving Blood Drive, will be automatically entered into a drawing for an all new, unlocked 128GB midnight iPhone 14. Valued at more than $800. The Thanks-for-Giving Blood Drive is sponsored by Certified Financial Advisor, Michael Vaughn with Pinnacle Family Advisors. Donors will also receive a Kansas City Chiefs T-shirt, while supplies last.” – CBCO

The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks is the sole supplier of blood, platelets and plasma to patients at 44 area healthcare facilities.

The Thanks-for-Giving blood drive is only available at the Community Blood Center of the Ozarks Donor Centers. Special donation hours are in effect on Wednesday, November 23, with the Joplin Donor Center open from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks Donor Centers will be closed on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. The donor center will reopen Monday, November 28.

To help avoid wait times, appointments are strongly encouraged. Donors can schedule an appointment at

“The holiday season represents a time when blood donations can fall off and blood inventory levels for local hospitals can become low,” CBCO Media Relations Representative Michelle Teter said. “The Thanks-for-Giving blood drive gives the community the opportunity to provide some support and goodwill for their friends, family, and neighbors during a time when most of us can give thanks for our good health. The need for blood never takes a holiday, so thanks to our local community partner, Michael Vaughn with Pinnacle Family Advisors, we are able to offer our donors a chance to win the hot new iPhone when they give the gift of life in preparation for a holiday weekend.”

American Red Cross

“Whether you’re A, B, AB or O – or unknown – all types of blood are valuable and can help save lives,” states the American Red Cross. “The most important thing is that you are willing to make this generous, life-saving donation.”

Who can you help by donating blood?

“Every day, blood donors help patients of all ages: accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.”

The Red Cross says you can shake up your holiday tradition by giving blood. This year, they encourage making it a new holiday habit and inviting those you love to join you.

“Blood, platelets and plasma are always needed, and your lifesaving gift could have a very big impact.”

“During this season of gift-giving, we hope you’ll start a new tradition of giving the ultimate gift of lifesaving blood. Gather a group of friends or family, schedule at your local drive or donation center and spend your holidays knowing that your new tradition may help patients feel well enough to enjoy their own holiday traditions as well. What could be a better gift than that?”

You can find local blood drives organized by the American Red Cross here.

You can go to the Blood Donor, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment.

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