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Holidays important time to give blood

The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to be the lifeline for patients in need this holiday season, by making an appointment to give blood. While helping to save lives is likely motivation enough, those who come out to give now through Dec. 18 will also receive a $5 gift card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane.

Additionally, those who come to give Nov. 27-30, will receive an exclusive long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last.

Drives in the area for November and December, are:

• Chippewa County – Friday, Nov. 22, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., McDonell High School; Monday, Dec. 9, noon to 5 p.m., St. Joseph’s Hospital; Monday, Dec. 16, noon to 6 p.m., Northern Wisconsin Center.

• Rusk County – Thursday, Nov. 21, 12:30-6:30 p.m., Sheldon Community Center; Thursday, Dec. 12, noon to 6 p.m., Friday, Dec. 13, 8 a.m. to noon, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Ladysmith.

It’s quick and easy to find a convenient blood drive, by searching for drives by zip code and making an appointment to donate, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at, by calling 1-800-733-2767, or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Donors can save time by completing a RapidPass®. The entire donation process only takes about an hour, but donors can save time with RapidPass. Pre-donation reading and health history questions can be completed online, to save about 15 minutes.

Donors will also get important health information, and receive a mini-health screening to help determine eligibility, that includes blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin readings. First-time donors will also find out their blood type soon after donating.

As schedules fill with holiday parties, shopping, and fun with friends and family, many blood donors delay giving. Unfortunately, that may lead to delays in treatments for patients relying on blood. Right now, there is a critical need for Type O blood donors.