With vacations, outdoor activities and school breaks, summer is a challenging time to collect enough blood donations to meet the needs of patients. Before you dip into your summer plans, will you give blood to ensure the supply doesn’t take a dip? This June, the American Red Cross and Stewart’s Shops will offer a refreshing treat to blood donors who step up to give.
For a sixth year, Stewart’s Shops is treating Red Cross blood donors to free pints of ice cream as part of the “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” program. From June 1-30, presenting donors at blood drives in 25 counties across Upstate New York will receive a voucher for a free pint of Stewart’s Shop’s ice cream or gelato that can be redeemed at any Stewart’s Shops location.
Gary Dake, president of Stewart’s Shops and loyal blood donor says, “The Give a Pint, Get a Pint campaign has resulted in over 39,000 blood donations over the last six years; proof that free ice cream is a great incentive for blood donations. We encourage everyone that is able to donate to do so at a local blood drive.”
The Red Cross must collect enough blood every day to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
“We’re grateful for our continued partnership with Stewart’s Shops,” said Kevin Coffey, Regional Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Eastern New York Region. “We know our blood donors will appreciate receiving a pint of delicious ice cream, non-dairy, or gelato for rolling up a sleeve to help patients in need.”
Each day, the Red Cross needs to collect about 12,500 blood donations and more than 2,700 platelet donations to meet the needs of patients at about 2,500 hospitals and other facilities across the country.
In most cases, there’s no blood donation deferral if you received a COVID-19 vaccine and you’re symptom-free and feeling well when you come to give. Learn more at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Plasma from routine blood and platelet donations that test positive for high levels of antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Stewart’s Shops “Give a Pint, Get a Pint” vouchers will be offered to blood donors presenting at blood drives in the following counties from June 1-30:
Central & Northern NY
• St. Lawrence
Northeastern NY & the Capital Region
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.