WASHINGTON, May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross urges blood and platelet donors to choose their day to give and help ensure blood is available for patients all summer long during its annual summer awareness campaign, sponsored by Suburban Propane.
"Many Americans will be celebrating the unofficial start to summer this Memorial Day weekend, but seasonal activities that bring joy to so many can also lead to a shortage of blood and platelet donations when regular donors become busy," said Donna M. Morrissey, director of national partnerships for the Red Cross Biomedical Services. "Patients don't get a summer holiday from needing lifesaving blood and platelet donations and are counting on generous volunteers to help maintain a sufficient supply this summer."
To encourage donations around the Memorial Day holiday, those who come to give blood or platelets from May 27-31 will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. The Red Cross relies on volunteer donors for the 14,000 blood donations needed every day to support patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. However, during the summer months of June, July and August, about two fewer donors schedule an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need.
Suburban Propane supports the Red Cross summer campaign
As official national sponsor of the summer campaign, which begins Memorial Day weekend and runs through Labor Day weekend, Suburban Propane will help promote the need for blood and platelet donations and will encourage its employees and customers to give.
"Suburban Propane is proud to partner with the Red Cross and help raise awareness of the ongoing need for blood and platelets – especially during the crucial summer months," said Suburban Propane's Chief Development Officer Mark Wienberg. "By expanding our partnership with the Red Cross this year, we can continue to support the life-changing work of the Red Cross and make an even bigger difference in communities across the country."
Suburban Propane employees will also volunteer at Red Cross blood drives nationwide in one of the largest national volunteer commitments to the Red Cross Blood Services from a corporate partner. Additionally, this year Suburban Propane is expanding its partnership with the Red Cross to include participation in the Home Fire Campaign in some markets, as well as support for disaster relief efforts and Service to the Armed Forces.
The Red Cross has touched the lives of many Suburban Propane employees including Debbie Traub. In May 2014, her 74-year-old father fell from a ladder while power washing his home and suffered life-threatening injuries. He spent 20 days in the intensive care unit and received many blood transfusions. Traub said that she now knows the importance of giving blood and makes a point to donate in honor of her father at the Suburban Propane headquarter blood drives. Her story is just one of many reasons Suburban Propane continues to advocate for blood and platelet donations to the Red Cross.
"The Red Cross has partnered with Suburban Propane since 2012, and last year's '100 Days of Summer. 100 Days of Hope.' campaign marked our first nationwide, summerlong partnership," said Morrissey. "The Red Cross depends on corporate partners like Suburban Propane to help ensure blood and platelets are available for patients in need of lifesaving transfusions and to help our communities prepare for and respond to disasters large and small."
About donating blood
For more information and to make an appointment to donate, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors of all blood types are needed. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About Suburban Propane
Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. (NYSE: SPH) is a nationwide distributor of propane, fuel oil and related products and services, as well as a marketer of natural gas and electricity. Headquartered in Whippany, New Jersey, Suburban serves the energy needs of approximately 1.1 million residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural customers through 700 locations in 41 states.
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SOURCE American Red Cross