Celebrate World Blood Donor Day by rolling up a sleeve

June 14 is World Blood Donor Day – a day when the American Red Cross joins blood donor organizations around the world in recognizing the importance of a safe and stable blood supply and the donors who donate generously to help save lives and build solidarity in communities.

Everyday heroes like Gregory Short volunteer to donate lifesaving blood and platelets with the Red Cross to support trauma and cancer patients as well as people undergoing surgery.

“I just like donating,” Gregory said. “Serving is how I show love. Being a creature of routine, I like to give wafers every two or three weeks and I will continue for as long as possible because it is needed.

An avid triple platelet donor who also donates whole blood when eligible, Gregory has donated over 400 units of lifesaving blood products and encourages others to join him.

“For two hours you can relax, watch TV shows while giving [platelets] and not think about work,” Gregory said. “There are those who cannot give blood for travel or health reasons. It is necessary, I can and I do.

Eligible donors are encouraged to join Gregory in making an appointment to donate blood or platelets this month. Whole blood donation is the most flexible and takes about an hour. The Power Red donation involves giving a concentrated dose of red blood cells and lasts about an hour and a half. Platelet donation involves donating tiny cells in the blood that form clots and stop bleeding and takes about two and a half to three hours.

Blood donations dwindle in late spring and early summer — especially during holiday weeks like Independence Day — but the need for blood and platelet transfusions isn’t taking a summer break. Generous blood and platelet donors are critically important to ensuring life-saving care is available when patients need it. To make an appointment to make a donation, download the Red Cross Blood Donation Appvisit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank you for your help, in honor of Baz Luhrmann’s new film, Elvis, everyone who comes to give in June will be automatically entered for a chance to win a VIP trip to Graceland for two, including round-trip airfare to Memphis, plus a three-night stay at The Guest House and Elvis Entourage VIP tour, courtesy of Graceland, a custom-wrapped Gibson Epiphone guitar and more. Plus, those who come to donate from June 1-30 will also receive a $5 e-gift card at a merchant of their choice.*

*Conditions apply. Visit rcblood.org/elvismovie.

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