ABC11 Together Blood Drive

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- January is National Blood Donor Month and thousands of people in North Carolina are in urgent need of lifesaving care directly related to blood donations.

Click here to register for a blood drive near you.

To aid those in need, ABC11 partnered with the American Red Cross and the stations of Radio One Raleigh for the ABC11 Together Blood Drive on January 13. The drives were held at the Crabtree Marriott in Raleigh and the Woodpeckers Stadium VIP Lounge in Fayetteville. Hundreds of people participated, over half of which were first-time donors. With each donation saving up to three lives, the day resulted in the ability to help over 1000 people in need. Having a diverse donor base also helped find 28 matches to aid sickle cell patients.

However, the need is still great. In just over a span of three months last year, the Red Cross experienced a cancellation loss of nearly 37,000 blood drives due to COVID-19 closings. Add to the fact that every 2 seconds someone needs a blood transfusion due to an accident, illness, or injury and the need is evident.

The Red Cross is encouraging all eligible and healthy individuals to make an appointment for their nearest drive today. As a special thank you to donors for helping during this critical time, those who give between January 1-31, 2021, will automatically be entered to win two tickets to next year's 2022 Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, California.

Thousands of people are counting on you to help. Each donation site will take added precautions to ensure that the process is safe for all involved. Face masks are required. Donor and staff temperature checks will be administered before entering. Beds will be spaced at least 6ft apart and all stations will be routinely cleaned between donations. Extra guests will not be allowed unless donating.

Additionally, all donations are being tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies could provide convalescent plasma for critically ill coronavirus patients. To learn more about this process go to redcrossblood.org.

Please register today. The Red Cross recently implemented donor eligibility changes announced by the FDA. If you have questions about your eligibility status click here or call the Red Cross Donor and Client Support Center at 1-866-236-3276.

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