By Eagle Newswire

 

The Greenwood Cultural Center and the American Red Cross announce a blood drive aimed at raising awareness of the ongoing need for diverse blood donations. The drive scheduled for October 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will be held at the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N. Greenwood Ave.

Right now, more Black blood donors are critically needed to help patients battling sickle cell disease as blood drives – especially those at schools, colleges and universities – continue to be canceled at alarming rates.

“We have a great opportunity to help address a critical need for African Americans battling sickle cell disease,” said Mechelle Brown, Program Coordinator and Tour Guide, Greenwood Cultural Center. “By simply donating blood at the American Red Cross’s blood drive at the Greenwood Cultural Center, we can support those who desperately need these donations at a time when blood donations by African Americans have decreased tremendously. If you know and love someone with this disease, or are simply looking for a way to help those in need, this is the perfect way to do it.” 

How donations from Black blood donors help sickle cell patients

About 100,000 people in the U.S., most of whom are of African or Latino descent, are living with sickle cell disease, making it the most common genetic blood disease in the country. Sickle cell disease causes red blood cells to be sticky, hard and crescent-shaped instead of soft and round. This makes it difficult for blood to flow smoothly and carry oxygen to the rest of the body, which may lead to severe pain, tissue and organ damage, acute anemia and even strokes.

Black blood donors are urged to make a blood donation appointment at the Greenwood Cultural Center Blood Drive by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device and using the sponsor code greenwood.

More information about blood and diversity is available on the Red Cross website. 

How to donate blood

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. 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.

Blood and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.