The American Red Cross is urging people of all races and ethnicities to give blood or platelets to help increase the diversity of the blood supply.
The campaign began Monday, Sept. 23, and will continue through Oct. 15 in multiple locations.
The vast majority of blood types fall into one of the major blood groups. However, for patients with rare blood types or those who receive regular blood transfusions, blood must be matched closely – beyond the primary A, B, O and AB blood types – to reduce the risk of developing complications from transfusion therapy. The best match may be someone of the same racial or ethnic group.
Eight-year-old AJ Torres requires blood transfusions to treat complications from sickle cell disease, the most common genetic disease in the US. The disease is most common among people of African descent or Latino descent, like AJ, and can sometimes cause small blood vessels to become blocked. Diverse donors are important to ensuring AJ has the blood products he needs to regain his health.
“Within minutes of receiving a blood transfusion, I watch his strength be restored, pain vanish and energy return. Soon he transforms back to himself — a rambunctious little boy,” said his mom, Caira Torres. “If an 8-year-old can withstand a needle, so can you.”
Donors of all blood types, as well as all races and ethnicities, are needed to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse patient population. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling (800) RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
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.
As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see rcblood.org/game.
Valley area locations where you can give blood include:
Oct. 2, 10 a.m. – 3:45 p.m., Animation Guild IATSE 839, 1105 N. Hollywood Way; Oct. 3, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Burbank Elk’s Lodge #1497, 2232 N. Hollywood Way; Oct. 8, 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Burbank Elk’s Lodge #1497, 2232 N. Hollywood Way.
Oct. 12, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Granada Hills Pavillion, 11128 Balboa Blvd.;
Oct. 14, 11:45 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., Granada Hills Pavillion, 11128 Balboa Blvd.
Oct. 13, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., YMCA, 5142 Tujunga Ave.
Sept. 30, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., California State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff St.;
Oct. 2, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Nobel Middle School, 9950 Tampa Ave.;
Oct. 3 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., California State University Northridge Housing, 17950 Lassen St.
Sept. 26, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., San Fernando Valley Japanese American Community Center, 12953 Branford St.;
Oct. 13, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Church of God, 13545 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sept. 28, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Panorama City American Legion Hall, 13553 Reedley Ave.;
Oct. 6, 7:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., St. Genevieve Catholic Church, 14061 Roscoe Blvd.;
Oct. 11, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., National Career College, 14355 Roscoe Blvd.
Oct.10, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Porter Ranch Library, 11371 Tampa Ave.
Sept. 29, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Santa Rosa Catholic Church, 668 S. Workman.
Sept. 29, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., St. Francis de Sales, 13368 Valleyheart Drive;
Oct. 2, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Congregational Church of the Chimes, 14115 Magnolia Blvd.
Oct. 4, 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City, 12355 Moorpark St.
Oct. 10, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, 6649 Balboa Blvd.
Oct. 10, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Chaminade High School, 7500 Chaminade Ave.
From Sept. 26 to Oct. 6, Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center, 6338 Variel Ave., various times;
Oct. 7, 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Pierce College Campus Center Square, 6201 Winnetka;
Oct. 7, 12:15 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center, 6338 Variel Ave.;
Oct. 8, through Oct. 15, Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center, 6338 Variel Ave., various times. Contact the donation center at (800) 733-2767 for an appointment that is convenient for you.