American Red Cross holds blood donation clinics for World Blood Donor Day

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and save lives – the American Red Cross is collecting blood in honor of World Blood Donor Day.

The charity held its first of many blood drives on Wednesday, June 15, in conjunction with Western New York charity “Blood is Blood.”

“We started this work because of an experience I had in 2015. I went to donate blood and was turned away. I didn’t know why. I didn’t know how. found out it was because there was a law prohibiting sexually active homosexuals from donating blood,” said Jordan James, the founder of Blood is Blood.

James and his group have been strong advocates of the 1984 U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy prohibiting blood donation to men who identify as LGBTQ+ and refuse to have sex with a member of the same sex.

“For a man who has had sex with another man in the last three months, defer it three months from his last sexual contact.”

– United States Food and Drug Administration.

Although this policy is no longer an outright ban, there is a three-month cooling off period between someone disclosing sexual acts and being able to donate. This change happened during the pandemic.

“The law only changed when the need for blood got so bad. When I found out about this, I felt like a second-class citizen. I was disgusted. Especially when I found out that he there was such a shortage, and so many people wrongfully held back from donating,” James said.

The group has teamed up with Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) to push forward legislation to rid the country of what James calls “the old.”

“The current policy is overly stringent given scientific evidence, advanced testing methods, and safety and quality control measures at FDA-qualified blood donation centers; stigmatizes members of the LGBTQI+ community; and unnecessarily restricting the blood supply while our nation battles a critical blood shortage and the COVID-19 pandemic.

– Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26)

7 News has reached out to Congressman Higgins (NY-26) for further comment. He was not available at the time of the move.

“Our goal is just to raise awareness, to do whatever we can to help spread the word,” James said.

The American Red Cross of Western New York organized the annual “Blood is Blood” campaign this year.

“Blood is something we need. 1 in 4 people will need blood at some point in their life. We are here to advocate for people to step up and donate. You never know who might use blood. 1 donation can save up to three lives,” said Hanna Malak, Regional Director of Donor Services for Western New York Red Cross.

In addition to the Blood is Blood drive, you can participate in Blood Donations from Tuesday through June 30 for a chance to win a VIP trip to Graceland.

The Red Cross reports that blood donations dwindle in late spring and early summer — particularly during holiday weeks, such as Memorial Day and Independence Day — but the need for blood transfusions blood and platelets never stops.

As a thank you, donors who give blood in the month of June will automatically be entered for a chance to win a VIP trip to Graceland for two. In honor of Baz Luhrmann’s new film, Elvis, that price includes round-trip airfare to Memphis, plus a three-night stay at The Guest House and a VIP tour of Elvis Entourage, courtesy of Graceland, a custom-wrapped Gibson Epiphone guitar and more.

Those who donate from June 1-30 will also receive a $5 e-gift card at a merchant of their choice.

World Blood Donor Day, June 14, recognizes the importance of a safe and stable blood supply and the donors who make it possible. Nearly 2.5 million people volunteer to donate life-saving blood and platelets every year with the Red Cross.

Upcoming Blood Donation Opportunities:

allegania

  • Alfred
    • 6/5: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Alfred State College, Student Leadership Center, Small Event Space, Third Floor, 10 Upper College Drive
  • Canaseraga
    • 6/30: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Legion, 83 West Main St.
  • Cuba
    • 06/15: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Library of Cuba, 39 E Main St.
  • fillmore
    • 6/21: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Fillmore Volunteer Fire Department, 24 South Genesee Street
  • Wellsville
    • 6/23: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Wellsville Fire Department, 40 S Main Street
  • Whitesville
    • 6/17: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Whitesville Fire Station, 496 Main Street

Cattaraugus

  • allegania
    • 6/16: 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Fire Community Center, 188 W Main St.
  • Conewango Valley
    • 6/27: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Conewango Fire Hall, 12447 Northeast Road
  • Ellicottville
    • 6/17: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 6360 Route 242 East
  • Gowanda
    • 6/29: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Legion Post 409, 100 Legion Drive
  • Little Valley
    • 6/24: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., LVCS Alumni In Memory, 207 Rock City Street

Chautauqua

  • Cassadaga
    • 06/30: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Cassadaga Fire Station, 22 Mill Street
  • Dunkirk
    • 6/20: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Blessed Mary Angela Roman Catholic Parish, 324 Townsend Street
  • Fredonia
    • 6/23: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Christ Community Church, 219 Berry Road
  • Lakewood
    • 6/16, 6/23, 6/30: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Chautauqua Mall, 318 E Fairmount Ave.
  • Mayville
    • 06/16: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Lakeside Park Community Center, 50 West Lake Rd
  • Portland
    • 6/28: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m., Portland Fire Department, 6481 W Main Rd

Erie

  • Amherst
    • 6/15, 6/22, 6/29: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive
    • 6 a.m., 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Boulevard Mall, 730 Alberta Drive
    • 6/23: 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Transit Main Fire Department, 6777 Main St.
  • Angola
    • 6/29: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Congregational United Church of Christ, 132 N Main St
  • Blasdell
    • 6/28: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Neighborhood Health Center, 4233 Lake Ave.
  • Buffalo
    • 06/15: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mercy Hospital, 565 Abbott Road
    • 6/15: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., WNY Chapter, 786 Delaware Ave
    • 6/6: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Johnnie B Wiley Pavilion, 1100 Jefferson Ave
    • 6/23: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Veterans Affairs Hospital, 3495 Bailey Avenue
    • 6/24: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., West Side Community Services, 161 Vermont Street
    • 6/30: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dudley Branch Library, 2010 South Park Ave.
  • cheektowaga
    • 6/14-6/16, 6/20-23, 6/27-30: 12:15 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., Union Road Blood Donation Center, 3601 Union Road
    • 6/17-19, 6/24-26: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Union Road Blood Donation Center, 3601 Union Road
  • eastern aurora
    • 6/22: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Absolut Care – Aurora Park, Absolut Care – Aurora Park, 292 Main St.
  • Elma
    • 06/30: 2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, 1230 Bowen Road
  • Getzville
    • 6/28: 1 – 6 p.m., St Pius X Father Weber Center Roman Catholic Church, 1700 N French Rd
  • big island
    • 6/21: 1 – 6 p.m., Grand Island Knights of Columbus, Grand Island Knights of Columbus, 1841 Whitehaven Rd
  • Hamburg
    • 6/14: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., VFW Post 1419 – Hamburg, 2985 Lakeview Rd
    • 6/16: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Revive Wesleyan, 4999 McKinley Pkwy.
  • orchard park
    • 06/14/2022: 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., Orchard Park American Legion Post 567, 5784 Ellis Rd
    • 6/17: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Bernadette Roman Catholic Church, 5930 S Abbott Rd
  • Springville
    • 6/15: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Concord Senior Center, 40 Commerce Drive
  • Western Seneca
    • 6/21: 2pm – 6pm, Union Fire Company, 1845 Union Road
    • 6/29: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Erie 1 BOCES, 355 Harlem Rd.
  • Williamsville
    • 6/25: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1424 Maple Rd

Genesis

  • Batavia
    • 6/28: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., American Legion Batavia, 8960 Alexander Rd, Rte 98
    • 6/29: 1 – 6 p.m., St. James’s Episcopal Church, 405 E Main St
  • Elbe
    • 6/23: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Elba Fire Station, 7143 Oak Orchard Rd
  • The King
    • 6/23: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Legion, 53 West Main Street

niagara

  • Lewiston
    • 6/15: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Lewiston Fire Co No 1, 145 N 6th St
  • Lock
    • 6/14, 6/28: 1 – 6 p.m., The Dale Association Incorporated, 33 Ontario St.
  • middleport
    • 6/27: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Middleport Fire Station, 28 Main Street
  • Niagara Falls
    • 6/5: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m., Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, Seneca Niagara Casino – Hotel Side, 310 4th St
    • 6/5: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Fashion Outlets – Niagara Falls, 1900 Military Road
    • 6/25: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Elks Lodge #346, 7710 Buffalo Avenue
  • North Tonawanda
    • 6/22: 1-6 p.m., Stephen Sikora Post American Legion, 950 Payne Ave.
  • Sanborn
    • 6/29: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., United Way of Greater Niagara, 6420 Inducon Drive West, Suite B2

Orleans

  • Medina
    • 6/21: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Sacred Heart Club, 189 N Gravel Rd

Wyoming

  • Arcade
    • 6/4: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Hope Lutheran Church, 2 E. Main St.
  • Penthouse
    • 15/06: 1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., St. Vincent’s, 22 Walnut St, Auditorium
  • Pear
    • 6/29: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 35 Covington Street


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