Blood donations still down, donors still needed

Here’s how to donate blood in December

Donating blood during the holidays is all about helping to save lives.

And as a “thank you” for donating, the Red Cross and Versiti said in a news releases that they are each offering the chance to win some prizes.

Anyone who donates blood through Versiti of Illinois through Jan. 9, 2022, will be entered for a chance to win an SUV valued at approximately $25,000. The winner will be announced in January.

And anyone who donates blood through the Red Cross through Dec. 16 will be entered for a chance to win a private screening of the new film “The Matrix Resurrections.” Donors will also receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card by email, courtesy of Amazon.

With the holidays in sight, the need for blood is still high.

A news release from Versiti in September said Versiti’s mobile collections were down more than 20,000 units of blood for 2021.

The Red Cross said in a recent news release that its current blood supply is at the lowest in more than a decade for this time of year. Schools and colleges also hosted fewer blood drives due to the pandemic, which contributed to a 34% drop in new blood donors in 2021 as compared to 2020.

Here’s how to donate:

Dec. 2: 1 to 6 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1414 Dupont Ave., Morris.

Dec. 10: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., American Red Cross, 1293 Windham Parkway, Romeoville.

Dec. 15: Noon to 5 p.m., Morris Hospital, conference rooms two and three, lower level, 150 W. High St., Morris. Versiti supplies blood products for Morris Hospital, so donors will help replenish the local blood supply. All blood types are needed, especially O positive and O negative. For appointments (recommended), call 815-705-7386. Walk-ins are welcome.

Or schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Save up to 15 minutes by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass to complete your pre-donation reading and health history questions on the day of your appointment.

Versiti Blood Center of Illinois has a donor facility at 2625 W. Jefferson St. in Joliet. Visit donate.illinois.versiti.org and click the “Schedule to Donate” tab. Or call 800-786-4483.

For information about Versiti’s “Drive to Save Lives” sweepstakes, including how to enter without a blood donation, visit the sweepstakes webpage at bit.ly/3xDaUBq.