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The need is great - Red Cross offers 3 ways to make saving lives easier

ST. PAUL - We know you're busy this time of year, and so are our regular blood and platelet donors. In fact, many delay giving during the busy holiday season - but the need for blood doesn't take a break.

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To help donors fit in a donation, the Red Cross offers three easy ways to make helping save lives faster and more convenient.

ST. PAUL - We know you’re busy this time of year, and so are our regular blood and platelet donors. In fact, many delay giving during the busy holiday season – but the need for blood doesn’t take a break.

The holidays are known for the giving spirit and a hectic pace. This holiday season, the American Red Cross is sharing three ways to give the gift of life in less time.

At this time of year many regular blood and platelet donors delay giving due to busy schedules– but the need for blood remains. To help donors fit in a donation, the Red Cross offers three easy ways to make helping save lives faster and more convenient:

RapidPass® – Donors can complete their pre-donation reading and health history questions online to save about 15 minutes at their donation. In September, RapidPass became available on mobile devices, giving donors the ability to complete their RapidPass from a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Blood Donor App – Through the Red Cross Blood Donor App, users can find local blood drives and donation centers, schedule an appointment, receive appointment reminders and keep track of total blood donations – all from the palm of their hand.

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Online appointment scheduling – Donors can conveniently schedule an appointment and find tips for a successful blood or platelet donation at redcrossblood.org.

“The Red Cross is thankful for the generosity of donors who help keep hospital shelves stocked with lifesaving blood products, but we know that the holiday activities that we cherish most can make it difficult for many regular donors to find a moment to donate this time of year,” said Sue Thesenga, communications manager, North Central Blood Services Region. “We hope technologies like online appointment scheduling, the Blood Donor App and RapidPass will make it a little easier for donors to give more life for patients this holiday season.”

Patients don’t get a holiday break from needing lifesaving transfusions, and all blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply is available. Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To learn more about RapidPass, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Nov. 21-Dec. 15:

Crow Wing County

Brainerd
12/1/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Roosevelt Township Hall, 22613 County Road 2

Crosslake
11/30/2017: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Crosslake Lutheran Church, 35960 County Road 66

Deerwood
11/21/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Deerwood Auditorium, 27 E. Forest Road

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Fort Ripley
12/1/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Mathias Catholic Church, 4529 County Road 121

Ironton
12/4/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Legion, 232 4th St.

Nisswa
12/4/2017: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., American Legion, 25807 Main St.
12/5/2017: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., American Legion, 25807 Main St.

Pequot Lakes
12/5/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Pequot Lakes High School, 30805 Olson St.
_______________

Morrison County

Pierz
11/28/2017: 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Unity Bank, 26171 Highway 27
12/6/2017: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Pierz Healy High School, 112 Kamnic St.

Upsala
11/27/2017: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Upsala High School, 415 N. Main St.

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Todd County

Bertha
11/28/2017: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Bertha-Hewitt High School, 310 Central Ave. S.

Grey Eagle
12/1/2017: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., St. Joseph's Church, 118 Minnesota St. W.

Long Prairie
11/29/2017: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., CentraCare Health, 50 CentraCare Drive
11/30/2017: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., CentraCare Health, 50 CentraCare Drive
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Wadena County

Wadena
11/21/2017: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Elks Lodge, 647 Jefferson St. N.

How to donate blood

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.

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