(INDIANAPOLIS) – Indiana lawmakers are out for blood and bragging rights in the 11th annual American Red Cross Indiana Statehouse Blood Donor Challenge blood drive. The lawmakers invite the community to join them in giving blood today, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the statehouse in the south atrium. This event has a goal of collecting 100 blood donations to support patients in need right as the Red Cross is in the midst of a national blood shortage.
During January, severe winter weather forced the cancellation of 454 Red Cross blood drives resulting in more than 14,156 blood and platelet donations going uncollected. Locally in Indiana, weather has canceled 24 Red Cross blood drives resulting in a shortfall of nearly 850 blood donations.
The Statehouse Blood Donor Challenge comes at the perfect time, and is a friendly competition among the House, Senate, LSA, Judicial and Executive branches of the Indiana state government. The winning group will take the traveling trophy and bragging rights for the next year. The community is urged to join their state representatives in the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross by giving blood. Those who come to donate will receive a Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last. Red Cross mascot, Buddy the Blood Drop, will be thanking blood donors as well.
Since this blood donor challenge began 10 years ago, it has resulted in 660 blood donations being given through the Red Cross. Blood donation is just one of many services offered by the Red Cross which will be highlighted. The Red Cross is the only blood services provider that also offers health and safety training, serves as a vital communication link between military personnel and their families, teaches disaster preparedness, and provides relief to victims of disasters. Available at the event the Red Cross will offer hands only CPR demonstrations, games, information about disaster services and an opportunity to sign a Red Cross flag which will be sent to Indiana National Guard members who are deployed overseas.
Patients need blood every day and not nearly enough people give,” said Sandra Ryden, recruitment representative for the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region. “When you give blood with the Red Cross you may be helping someone’s friend, neighbor, family or loved one live to see another day. This challenge is a great reminder that you can help save lives by giving blood with the Red Cross, or getting involved in one of our other lines of service.”
Blood donations made through the Red Cross help Indiana residents who need transfusions, like 12-year-old Alaina Dickey in Richmond who is battling cancer, 4-year-old Makayla Willett in Fort Wayne dealing with a rare blood disorder, or seventh grader Brady Prosser in Angola recovering from severe burns. There are many reasons why someone may need a blood transfusion on any given day.
The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals nationwide. In Indiana alone, the Red Cross needs about 450 donors each day to support patients at 80 hospitals across the state. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed to help those rely on blood products.
Indiana Statehouse Red Cross Blood Donor Challenge
Monday, Feb. 4, 2019
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Indiana State Capitol Building, South Atrium
200 West Washington St., Indianapolis, IN 46204
Make an appointment by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), and use sponsor code: Indiana Legislature.
How to donate blood
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 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, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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.