The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood this summer for hospital patients in need and offers three easy steps people can take to help save lives.

1. Schedule – Use the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment.
2. Prepare – Get a good night’s sleep, eat a nutritious meal and drink extra fluids.
3. Give – The donation process start to finish takes about an hour. The actual donation only takes about 10 minutes.

Only about 3 percent of the U.S. population gives blood, which means a heavy reliance on repeat donors to maintain a sufficient blood supply. New blood donors are especially needed during the summer months because many schools where blood drives are held – and where new donors give – are not in session, and current donors often delay giving due to summer vacations.

Patients like Anna Schuster might not be here without generous volunteer blood donors. Doctors gave Schuster a 1 percent chance of survival after a collision with a semitrailer. During the first 12 hours after her accident, she received 65 units of blood. Schuster’s road to recovery has been long – 58 surgeries in the 12 years since her accident, including four in the past 14 months, with many of them requiring more blood transfusions.

Every day there are thousands of patients like Schuster who rely on lifesaving blood donations. That’s why donors are urged to give now and give often.

In June, the Red Cross joins blood collection agencies around the world marking World Blood Donor Day by raising awareness about the need for a readily available blood supply. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Donors can make an even greater impact by inviting others to join them in giving.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Brown

Ainsworth
7/3/2017: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., St Pius X Catholic Church, 915 E 3rd Street
_______________

Cherry

Valentine
7/6/2017: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., St. Nicholas Catholic Church, 400 West 5th Street
_______________

Grant

Hyannis
6/26/2017: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Winters Building, 300 South Main
_______________

Holt

Chambers
6/26/2017: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., American Legion, 103 N. Norvell

Ewing
6/20/2017: 11:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., United Methodist Presbyterian Church, 119 North Spruce St.

Stuart
6/21/2017: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Stuart Auditorium, 2nd and Parnell
_______________

Howard

Saint Paul
6/26/2017: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., St. Paul Methodist Church, 1320 Baxter Street
6/29/2017: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Howard County Medical Center, 1113 Sherman St.
_______________

Sherman

Loup City
7/5/2017: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Loup City Community Center, 803 O St
_______________

Thomas

Thedford
7/3/2017: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Thomas County Fairgrounds, 83861 Highway 83
_______________

Valley

Ord
7/6/2017: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Valley County Health System Old Rehab Department, 217 Westridge Drive

How to help
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 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.