The mission of the American Red Cross is to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. In response to emergencies such as car accidents, needing heart surgery or being diagnosed with cancer or sickle cell anemia, the American Red Cross Southern Blood Services Region provides blood and blood components for patients in more than 130 hospitals throughout Georgia and parts of Florida and South Carolina, a press release stated. While the American Red Cross invites everyone to donate blood, African Americans and Latin Americans are highly encouraged to donate blood and blood components. A recent Red Cross study shows that in communities with higher populations of African Americans and Hispanic Americans there is a higher percentage of blood donors with Type O or Type B blood, the two most requested blood types by hospitals.
"These blood types are normally high in demand, yet low in supply," said Randy Edwards, chief executive officer, American Red Cross Blood Services, Southern Region. "By donating blood, African Americans and Latin Americans can help ensure blood is available for patients in area hospitals. They can play a vital role in making the mission of saving lives possible." The Southern Blood Services Region must have 1,200 people give blood each weekday to meet hospital demands. You can help make our mission possible of saving lives possible by donating blood through your American Red Cross at least four times each year. Volunteer blood and platelet donors must be at least 17 years old and weigh no less than 110 pounds. It is safe to give blood every 56 days and platelets every two weeks. All volunteer blood donors must show a photo ID. To find a convenient place to donate, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (448-3543) or visit www.redcrossblood.org.