Blood donors needed this Labor Day

Published 9:28 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

The American Red Cross and WTKR News Channel Three are asking people to extend a generous arm this Labor Day weekend for the 15th annual Labor of Love Blood Drive.

The partnership has helped collect more than 5,000 units of lifesaving blood for hospital patients in critical need, according to the press release, and all presenting donors this year will receive a Red Cross aluminum water bottle while supplies last.

An emergency blood shortage has caused an urgent need for blood and platelet donors as blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming to the Red Cross, according to the press release. Bernadette Jay, external communications manager in the Mid-Atlantic and Appalachian Blood Services Regions, said this need doesn’t slow down for holiday vacations.

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“It is a constant need, but when you look at the holidays and when people start traveling (like the Fourth of July), there’s a steep decline in donations simply because people are taking off work, traveling or spending time with their families. But the need for blood does not stop,” Jay said.

She’s urging for volunteers to “roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life,” even if they may have a fear of needles like she once did.

“I have to say, to anyone facing that fear, just know that a little bit of discomfort on your end can help someone else celebrate another Labor Day weekend with friends and family,” she said.

Volunteers will be able to donate at the following dates, times and locations:

4Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chesapeake Square Mall, Greenbrier Mall, Patrick Henry Mall or Pembroke Mall

4Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Chesapeake Square Mall, Greenbrier Mall and Patrick Henry Mall

4Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. at Greenbrier Mall

4Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Chesapeake Square Mall, Greenbrier Mall, Patrick Henry Mall or Pembroke Malls

All blood types are needed. Donors will need to bring a blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification at check-in.

Eligible donors must be 17 years of age or older or 16 with parental consent, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health. High school students and other donors ages 18 and younger also need to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Download the American Red Cross Blood Donor app, visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767) for more information or to make an appointment.