ST. PAUL— The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types – especially type O – and urges people to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks.

The Red Cross said on Monday, Jan. 6, that it had less than a three-day supply of type O blood. To help tackle the critical need, the Red Cross and NFL are working together to offer one lucky winner a trip to Super Bowl LIV in Miami.

During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, about 500 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs. Many groups postpone blood drives during the winter holidays when travel and holiday activities may make it challenging for many donors to give.

In fact, AAA estimated that a record 115.6 million Americans traveled during the holiday period of December 21 through January 1.  

“Lifesaving medical treatments and emergencies never take a holiday,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “Declines in donations can affect patient care. That’s why the Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to make an appointment to give now and help those sidelined by illness and trauma.”

Donors can make an appointment to give using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 800.RED.CROSS (800.733.2767), or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

As a special thank-you, those who give blood and platelets through January 19 will be entered automatically for a chance to experience the Super Bowl live. The Red Cross and NFL will give one winner two tickets to Super Bowl LIV, entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round-trip airfare to Miami, three-night hotel accommodations at The Alexander - All Suite Oceanfront Resort, and a $500 gift card for expenses.

Blood drives

Upcoming blood donation opportunities locally include:

> Cumberland – January 21, noon to 6 p.m., American Legion, 1225 Veterans St. 

> Hayward – January 20, 1 to 7 p.m., Sevenwinds Casino, 13767W Cty. Rd. B.

> Minong – January 21, noon to 6 p.m.at Jack Link's Aquatic & Activity Center, 714 W. Hokah St.

> Rice Lake – January 9, noon to 6 p.m., Elks Lodge #1441, 36 E. Eau Claire; and January 31, noon to 6 p.m., First Lutheran Church, 15 E. Sawyer St.

> Shell Lake – January 23, noon to 6 p.m. at Shell Lake Full Gospel Church, 293 Hwy. 63 S; and January 24, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Shell Lake Full Gospel Church, 293 Hwy. 63 S.

> Spooner – January 16, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Maple Ridge Care Center, 510 1st St.

> Webster – January 21, 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Community Center, 7421 Main St. W.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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