This weekend will present another opportunity for Valley area residents and others to help the American Red Cross (ARC) receive an infusion of new and repeat eligible donors to help replenish blood and platelet supplies that remain at historic lows.
Donor sites in the Burbank, Glendale, Encino, Reseda, and Woodland Hills areas will be available on Dec. 2-5 to provide residents more opportunities to help.
The ARC has been seriously challenged by low blood donor turnouts both locally and nationally in recent months, and is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year.
ARC representative Raahima Yazdani said that along with the pandemic and its impact, there have been fewer donations this year in part because of continual postponement or cancellations of regular, ongoing blood drives throughout the county.
“A lot of blood drives over the past year have been canceled,” Yazdani said. “We haven’t been able to have blood drives in a lot of schools where we usually do. And the need for blood has also been higher. It’s been things like that.”
The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in Delta variant cases have also significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. In 2021, Angelenos and people across California faced increased emergency needs from severe disasters, blood shortages, and the ongoing pandemic.
To meet the increasing needs of hospital patients, the Red Cross distributed 250,000 more blood products in 2021 than last year, until the Delta variant began to spread in August.
Fewer blood drives at schools and colleges contributed to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year — one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients.
Locally, the Los Angeles Red Cross Region has experienced a 44.6% decrease in new blood donors this year.
Yazdani said the ARC continues to have “extensive campaigns” to inform the public that donating blood is safe and that all COVID-19 protocols are in place, and that donations are desperately needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer, or sickle cell disease.
Those who donate through Dec. 16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film “The Matrix Resurrections.” Plus, those who give through Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.
ARC organizers are asking the public to make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling (800) RED CROSS (800-733-2767).
Valley area locations accepting donations include:
Dec. 2, 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Burbank Elks Lodge #1497, 2232 N. Hollywood Way.
Dec. 5, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish, 15520 Ventura Blvd.
Dec. 3, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Glendale Masonic Lodge, 244 N. Maryland Ave.
Dec. 5, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., St. Catherine of Siena, 18115 Sherman Way.
Dec. 3, 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center, 6338 Variel Ave.; Dec. 4, 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center, 6338 Variel Ave.; Dec. 5, 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Woodland Hills Blood Donation Center, 6338 Variel Ave.