The American Red Cross reminds healthy, would-be blood donors about the importance blood and platelets to help patients battling diseases such as cancer.

People may be putting off giving blood due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but continued donations are crucial to meeting the daily need for blood and platelets. As thanks for helping ensure a stable blood supply, all who come to give blood or platelets May 15-31 will receive a Red Cross “We’re all in this together” T-shirt by mail, while supplies last. Donors must have a valid email address on file to claim a T-shirt.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate this May by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions — including social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff — have been implemented to safeguard donors, volunteers and employees.

The Red Cross is also looking for blood drive hosts. To learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities

Pierce County

  • Ellsworth — noon to 6 p.m., May 18, Zion Covenant Church, 210 N. Beulah St.
  • River Falls — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 29, River Falls Library, 140 Union St.

St. Croix County

  • Somerset — 12:30 to 6:30 p.m., May 18, Christ Lutheran Church, 510 Germain
  • New Richmond — noon to 6 p.m., May 28, First Lutheran Church, 218 County Road K