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ACS and Red Cross launch campaign to increase blood donations

Starting on February 10, the American Cancer Society and American Red Cross will kick off a three-week campaign to encourage people across the country to Give Blood to Give Time. 

Did you know that nearly 25% of the blood supply in the U.S. goes to cancer patients - more than patients fighting any other disease? 

This joint campaign will include a national television PSA, social media, outdoor advertising, digital programs, and public relations, all driving people to GiveBloodToGiveTime.org, where they can type in their ZIP code and make an appointment to donate blood or platelets.

Model Cindy Crawford is the national spokesperson for this  campaign. Previously an ambassador for the Red Cross, Cindy’s brother died at an early age from leukemia, so she also supports cancer causes. During her brother’s treatment, ACS helped her family with access to transportation. 

For those undergoing chemotherapy treatments while battling cancer, a blood transfusion is a meaningful way to give them the strength to keep fighting. According to the American Red Cross, five units of blood are needed every minute of every day to help someone going through cancer treatments. Yet, only 3% of the American public donates blood in a given year.

Interestingly, Gail McGovern, president and CEO of American Red Cross, and her husband are both cancer survivors. In an email to all of her staff today, she wrote: "I know from experience that a loved one’s diagnosis can make family and friends feel helpless. They often don’t realize that individuals can make a difference by giving blood and platelets."

The need is great; how you, your friends, and family can help

During the campaign, from Feb. 10 to Feb. 29, visit GiveBloodToGiveTime.org and set up an appointment to give blood or platelets. A whole blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes. Platelet donation may take up to two and a half hours, and a Power Red donation is about an hour and 15 minutes long. A Power Red donation allows you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation.

Donors of all blood types, especially type O, and platelet donors are urgently needed. Platelets – a key clotting component of blood often needed by cancer patients, surgical patients, and bone marrow transplant recipients – must be transfused within five days of donation, so there is a constant, often critical, need for platelets to keep up with hospital demand. 

Donations of money are welcome, too! 

The public will have the option to select which organization to donate to through the campaign landing page. Donations will be processed through each organization’s standard donation process. 

Help spread the word! 

Let everyone you know about the campaign, and direct them to GiveBloodToGiveTime.org.

Feel free to post it on your social media sites and use the hashtag #GiveBloodToGiveTime.

There is no specific call to action for our Relay For Life, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, and Distinguished events audiences at this time.

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