December may be the season of giving – but it’s typically a challenging time to collect enough blood donations. Add in a pandemic, and this year could be even tougher than usual. That’s why the American Red Cross is urging those who are feeling well to give the gift of life by donating blood this holiday season.

 

The need for blood doesn’t stop for holidays. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than 1 million blood transfusions will be given in the United States. Donations of all blood types are needed to ensure hospital shelves remain stocked to meet patient blood needs.

 

Make your appointment to give blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross 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.

 

To encourage donations this holiday season, those who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross Dec. 18-Jan. 4 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

 

Important COVID-19 information for donors

As COVID-19 hospitalizations increase, hospital demand for convalescent plasma has also grown. COVID-19 convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation given by those who’ve recovered from this coronavirus. Their plasma contains antibodies that may help patients actively fighting the virus. Learn more about convalescent plasma and sign up to give at RedCrossBlood.org/Plasma4COVID.

 

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.

 

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 16-Jan. 4

 

Blue Earth

 

Amboy

1/4/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Presbyterian Church, 240 North St. E.

 

Lake Crystal

12/29/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church Lake Crystal, 211 E. Robinson St.

 

Mankato

12/18/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.

12/21/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., YMCA, 1401 S. Riverfront Drive

12/21/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Wow! Zone, 2030 Adams St.

12/22/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.

12/22/2020: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Country Inn & Suites Mankato, 1900 Premier Drive

12/23/2020: 10:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., National Guard Training & Community Center, 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

12/24/2020: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church School Mankato, 421 N .2nd St.

12/28/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.

12/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Hosanna Lutheran Church, 105 Hosanna Drive

12/28/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bethlehem Lutheran Church Mankato, 720 South 2nd St.

12/30/2020: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., AmericInn Mankato, 240 Stadium Road

1/4/2021: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Blue Earth County Library, 100 E. Main St.

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Brown

 

Hanska

12/18/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Center, 201 Broadway St.

 

New Ulm

12/23/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Christ the King Lutheran Church New Ulm, 1515 North Garden

 

Springfield

12/21/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Center, 33 South Cass Ave.

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Carver

 

Chanhassen

12/16/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., AmericInn Chanhassen, 570 Pond Promenade

1/2/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cub Foods Chanhassen, 7900 Market Blvd.

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Dodge

 

Kasson

12/31/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., American Legion Post 333, 212 W. Main St.

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Faribault

 

Elmore

1/4/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Shiloh Lutheran Church, 108 E Jay St.

 

Wells

1/4/2021: 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., American Legion Wells, 145 W. Franklin

1/4/2021: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., American Legion Wells, 145 W. Franklin

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Fillmore

 

Fountain

12/18/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Center, 83 County Highway 33

 

Mabel

12/17/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Mabel, 114 N. Main St.

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Freeborn

 

Albert Lea

12/22/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., North Bridge Mall, 2510 Bridge Ave.

12/31/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Albert Lea Chamber of Commerce, 2510 Bridge St.

 

Alden

1/4/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Alden Conger High School, 215 N. Broadway

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Goodhue

 

Red Wing

12/30/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., First Covenant Church Red Wing, 2302 Twin Bluff Road

12/31/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., New River Assembly of God, 240 Spates Ave.

 

Zumbrota

12/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., VFW Zumbrota, 21 E. 1st St.

_______________

 

Houston

 

La Crescent

12/16/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., La Crescent Area Events Center, 595 Veterans Parkway

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Le Sueur

 

Le Sueur

12/21/2020: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Le Sueur Henderson High School, 821 E. Ferry St.

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Martin

 

Fairmont

12/30/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Grace Lutheran Church Fairmont, 300 S. Grant St.

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Mower

 

Austin

12/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Austin Eagles Lookout Arie 703, 107 11 St. NE

12/21/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Holiday Inn, 1701 4th St. NW

_______________

 

Nicollet

 

Saint Peter

12/23/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., St. Peter Community Center, 600 S. 5th St.

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Rice

 

Faribault

12/16/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Faribault, 902 17th St. SW

12/29/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Faribo West Mall, 200 Western Ave.

12/30/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 139 Mercy Drive

12/30/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., First English Lutheran Church, 204 2nd St. NW

 

Morristown

12/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Morristown Community Center, 402 Division St. S.

 

Northfield

12/18/2020: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Imminent Brewing, 519 Division St. S.

12/28/2020: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Northfield Area Family YMCA, 1501 Honeylocust Drive

12/30/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., City Light Church, 2140 Highway 3 S.

12/31/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, 418 Sumner St. E.

_______________

 

Scott

 

Shakopee

12/18/2020: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Shakopee Community Center, 1255 Fuller St. S.

_______________

 

Sibley

 

Henderson

12/24/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Minnesota New Country School, 210 Main St.

_______________

 

Steele

 

Blooming Prairie

12/28/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., City Center, 138 Highway S.

 

Owatonna

12/18/2020: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Comfort Inn, 2345 43rd St. NW

12/21/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Lowe’s Owatonna, 1280 21st Ave. N.

12/28/2020: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., United Methodist Church, 815 E. University St.

12/29/2020: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Famous Dave’s Owatonna, 4355 W. Frontage Road

12/31/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Buffalo Wild Wings Owatonna, 1100 Frontage Road

_______________

 

Wabasha

 

Wabasha

12/21/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Wabasha County Criminal Justice Center, 848 17th St. E.

_______________

 

Waseca

 

Waseca

12/24/2020: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Christian Assembly Church, 900 14th Ave. SE

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Winona

 

Lewiston

12/28/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., City of Lewiston, 75 Rice St.

 

Rollingstone

12/30/2020: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Holy Trinity Community Center, 111 Broadway St.

 

Winona

12/24/2020: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., American Legion Post #9 Winona, 302 E. Sarnia

12/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Radiant Church, 850 Highway 14

12/29/2020: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church Winona, 1717 Service Drive

12/31/2020: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., YMCA, 902 Parks Ave.

1/4/2021: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., American Legion Post #9, 302 E. Sarnia

 

About blood donation

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit  RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. 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.

 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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.