EAU CLAIRE — The American Red Cross and the National Football League are teaming up this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals — especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 — to give blood and to help tackle the national convalescent plasma shortage. Right now, more donors are needed to help hospital patients.

During this critical time, the Red Cross and NFL are thrilled to offer all those who come to donate an opportunity to receive a special thank you this month. Those who come to donate blood or platelets this January will be automatically entered to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. (Terms and conditions apply. Additional information and details are available at https://www.redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/events/super_bowl.html)

In addition, those who come to give January 1-20, will also be automatically entered to win the Big Game at Home package for an awesome viewing experience safely at home, with a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card to put toward food and fun. (Terms and conditions apply. Additional information and details are available at https://www.redcrossblood.org/local-homepage/events/super_bowl.html)

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood today with the American Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.

“Blood and plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may have the power to help critically ill patients currently battling the virus,” said Dr. Erin Goodhue, Red Cross medical director of clinical services. “With hospital distributions for convalescent plasma increasing about 250% since October, these generous donations are vital in helping to save lives throughout the winter — a time that is often challenging to collect enough blood products for those in need.”

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As COVID-19 cases have risen across the U.S., so has the need for convalescent plasma – leading to a shortage of this potentially lifesaving blood product. Like “special teams” units on the field, COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to make a game-changing difference in the lives of COVID-19 patients. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that could provide a patient’s immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus.

How those recovered from COVID-19 can help

There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help – through a convalescent plasma donation or by simply giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients. Health emergencies don’t pause for holidays, game days or a pandemic – blood is needed every two seconds in the U.S. to help patients battling injury and illness.

Blood donation safety precautions

To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. 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.

American Red Cross Blood Donation Center

Please check redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS for current blood donation centers days and hours.

Chippewa Valley Blood Donation Center

3485 E. Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire

Upcoming blood donation opportunities (Jan. 5-31, 2021):

Pepin County


  • 1/27/2021: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., Durand United Methodist Church, 509 1st Ave.


  • 1/7/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., Pepin Sportsman's Club, 197 Sandridge Road

Pierce County

River Falls

  • 1/20/2021: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., First Covenant Church, 1374 N. Main St.

Saint Croix County


  • 1/5/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., O'Connell Family Funeral Home, 1010 Newton St.


  • 1/29/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Trinity Lutheran Church, 1250 Broadway


  • 1/7/2021: 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 502 County Road UU
  • 1/8/2021: 1:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., YMCA in Hudson, 2211 Vine St.

New Richmond

  • 1/28/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., American Legion Butler-Harmon Post 80, 1260 Wall St.


  • 1/22/2021: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Roberts Congregational United Church of Christ, 1001 Birch Drive


  • 1/21/2021: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m., American Legion Post 111, 464 County Road VV


  • 1/15/2021: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m., Zion Lutheran Church Woodville, 221 N. Lockwood St.

About blood donation

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.