American Red Cross - Cascades Region
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News Releases
Give blood in Honor of Black History Month in February - 02/02/24

Portland, OR (February 2, 2024) — During Black History Month this February, the American Red Cross honors the significant achievements of Black Americans and the vital role blood donations from individuals who are Black play in meeting the transfusion needs of patients and those with sickle cell disease. Right now, the Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage, and donors are urged to give blood or platelets as soon as possible to help alleviate the shortage and ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not delayed. 

With the theme “Black Excellence Is in Our Blood,” the Red Cross honors the vibrant legacies of trailblazers whose collaborative spirit of excellence continue to shape the organization’s humanitarian mission: 

  • Frederick Douglass, a prominent Black abolitionist and author who escaped slavery, supported Clara Barton's efforts to establish the American Red Cross. Having been impressed by Barton’s aid to soldiers who were Black during the Civil War and her desire to improve the protection of the wounded during wartime, Douglass signed the original Articles of Incorporation for the Red Cross in 1881. February is designated as Black History Month to honor Douglass’ birthday on Feb. 14.
  • Howard University, one of the nation’s top historically Black colleges and universities, formed its Red Cross Unit in March 1917 under the leadership of Red Crosser Hallie E. Queen. Determined to aid the war effort, students met daily to make 1,000 hospital supplies before the semester ended, and coordinated entertainment for Black soldiers stationed at Fort Meade. Howard University carries on this tradition today through its Red Cross Club, which hosts blood drives and completes community service projects.
  • Dr. Charles R. Drew, a surgeon and pioneer of modern blood banking, was named the first medical director of the Red Cross National Blood Collection Program in 1941. His work with the Red Cross helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians during World War II. Dr. Drew’s efforts to increase the blood supply led to the use of bloodmobiles and other collection, preservation and distribution processes still used today.

*Experience their stories and more in this inspiring video.

Commemorate Black History Month by rolling up a sleeve to give blood or platelets. Use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org/OurBlood or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment today. All who come to give blood, platelets or plasma Feb. 1-29, 2024, will receive a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. 

How to donate blood 

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App. 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood and is the primary blood supplier to 65 hospitals throughout Washington and Oregon; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Oregon or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossCasc.

 

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Give blood in Honor of Black History Month in February - 02/02/24

Portland, OR (February 2, 2024) — During Black History Month this February, the American Red Cross honors the significant achievements of Black Americans and the vital role blood donations from individuals who are Black play in meeting the transfusion needs of patients and those with sickle cell disease. Right now, the Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage, and donors are urged to give blood or platelets as soon as possible to help alleviate the shortage and ensure lifesaving medical procedures are not delayed. 

With the theme “Black Excellence Is in Our Blood,” the Red Cross honors the vibrant legacies of trailblazers whose collaborative spirit of excellence continue to shape the organization’s humanitarian mission: 

  • Frederick Douglass, a prominent Black abolitionist and author who escaped slavery, supported Clara Barton's efforts to establish the American Red Cross. Having been impressed by Barton’s aid to soldiers who were Black during the Civil War and her desire to improve the protection of the wounded during wartime, Douglass signed the original Articles of Incorporation for the Red Cross in 1881. February is designated as Black History Month to honor Douglass’ birthday on Feb. 14.
  • Howard University, one of the nation’s top historically Black colleges and universities, formed its Red Cross Unit in March 1917 under the leadership of Red Crosser Hallie E. Queen. Determined to aid the war effort, students met daily to make 1,000 hospital supplies before the semester ended, and coordinated entertainment for Black soldiers stationed at Fort Meade. Howard University carries on this tradition today through its Red Cross Club, which hosts blood drives and completes community service projects.
  • Dr. Charles R. Drew, a surgeon and pioneer of modern blood banking, was named the first medical director of the Red Cross National Blood Collection Program in 1941. His work with the Red Cross helped save the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and civilians during World War II. Dr. Drew’s efforts to increase the blood supply led to the use of bloodmobiles and other collection, preservation and distribution processes still used today.

*Experience their stories and more in this inspiring video.

Commemorate Black History Month by rolling up a sleeve to give blood or platelets. Use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org/OurBlood or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment today. All who come to give blood, platelets or plasma Feb. 1-29, 2024, will receive a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Join the Red Cross in elevating Black Excellence during Black History Month: Discover and support Black-owned businesses on Amazon! Terms apply. Visit rcblood.org/heart for details.

To help rebuild the blood supply this winter and recognize Black History Month, you are encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood at the following blood drives on February 24: 

Black History Month Celebration Blood Drive, 3131 N Vancouver Ave., Portland, OR, 6:30 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.

For Reclamation Blood Drive, 126 NE Alberta, Portland, OR, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

NAACP Blood Drive, 1860 Hawthorne Ave NE, Salem, OR, 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

How to donate blood 

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. 

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App. 

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood and is the primary blood supplier to 65 hospitals throughout Washington and Oregon; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/Oregon or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossCasc.

 

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