Blood donation (148423)
Credit: Image by Robert DeLaRosa from Pixabay

The American Red Cross is urging eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood or platelets and help prevent a summer shortage.

“The call for donations is supported by a recent survey of Red Cross blood and platelet donors showing that more than 40 percent plan to travel the week before or after Independence Day, an indicator that many eligible donors may be unavailable to give,” according to a press release.

“Adding blood or platelet donation to a vacation to-do list can mean so much to patients and their families,” said Kay Schwartz, CEO of New York-Penn Blood Services Region. “It’s a simple act, taking as little as an hour, but can touch many lives.”

While all blood donations of all types are needed, African-American donations are vital because blood types O and B—the blood types of approximately 70 percent of African-Americans—are the blood types most in demand. Those who come to donate from July 2 to 6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered baseball cap while supplies last. To make an appointment and for more information, download the free Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).