The American Red Cross urges blood and platelet donors to chose their day to give and help ensure blood is available for patients all summer long during its annual summer awareness campaign, sponsored by Suburban Propane.
    
“Many Americans will be celebrating the unofficial start to summer this Memorial Day weekend, but seasonal activities that bring joy to so many can also lead to a shortage of blood and platelet donations when regular donors become busy,” Red Cross Kansas, Nebraska and Southwest Iowa Regional Executive Officer Jill Orton said. “Patients don’t get a summer holiday from needing lifesaving blood and platelet donations and are counting on generous volunteers to help maintain a sufficient supply this summer.”
    
The Red Cross relies on volunteer donors for the 14,000 blood donations needed every day to support patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide. However, during the summer months of June, July and August, about two fewer donors schedule an appointment to give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need.
    
Suburban Propane, the official national sponsor of the summer campaign that begins Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, will help promote the need for blood and platelet donations and will encourage its employees and customers to give.
    
“Suburban Propane is proud to partner with the Red Cross and help raise awareness of the ongoing need for blood and platelets - especially during the crucial summer months,” Suburban Propane Chief Development Officer Mark Wienberg said. “By expanding our partnership with the Red Cross this year, we can continue to support the life-changing work of the Red Cross and make an even bigger difference in communities across the country.”
    
Suburban Propane employees will also volunteer at Red Cross blood drives nationwide in one of the largest national volunteer commitments to the Red Cross Blood Services from a corporate partner. Additionally, this year Suburban Propane is expanding its partnership with the Red Cross include participation in the Home Fire Campaign in some markets, as well as support for disaster relief efforts and Service to the Armed Forces.
    
The upcoming blood drives in Otoe Country are:

Tuesday in Talmage at the Talmage Community Building, located on Main Street, from 2 to 7 p.m., And June 9 in Nebraska City at Cargill, located at 2601 Industrial Rd., from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

For more information and to make an appointment to donate, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call (800) 733-2767. Donors of all blood types are needed.
    
A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. People who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 old 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 to learn more, go to redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.