CHICAGO (WLS) --Inclement weather and seasonal illnesses can keep eligible donors from giving, creating a greater need for donations during the winter. ABC 7 is stepping up to fill this need by hosting the Great Chicago Blood Drive on Jan. 20 at Union Station and The Drake Oak Brook Hotel.
"This is a great opportunity for residents of Chicago to rally around a life-saving cause," said Martha Carlos, chief communications officer for the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. "There's no better way to celebrate Chicago and the giving nature of the community than by helping the Red Cross maintain a sufficient blood supply during the challenging winter months."
To help save lives through blood donation, the Red Cross and ABC 7 are partnering with Amtrak, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Fresenius Kabi, iHeartMedia Chicago, Clear Channel Outdoor, Univision and Potbelly Sandwiches. This special event blood drive comes at a crucial time of year for hospital patients in need.
While winter weather can cancel blood drives or keep donors from donating, the need for blood never takes a break. Blood collected on Jan. 20 will help ensure cancer patients, trauma victims, surgery patients and others have the blood products they need. Donors of all blood types are needed on Jan. 20, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative. Each day, the Red Cross needs 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. There is no substitute for donated blood products.
The ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive
Jan. 20 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Union Station - Great Hall, 500 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago and Jan. 20 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Drake Oak Brook Hotel, 2301 York Road, Oak Brook.
To engage with the Red Cross in Chicago during this special blood drive, use the hashtag #GreatChicagoBloodDrive on social media.
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 (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 of age 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 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.