Give the gift of blood this holiday season at local blood drives

People donate blood at Castaic Middle School on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Nikolas Samuels/The Signal
Emergencies don’t take a holiday, which is why The American Red Cross will host three blood drives in or around the Santa Clarita Valley prior to the end of the year. Car crashes, cancer treatments and surgeries are but a few of the daily emergencies that require blood, Red Cross spokeswoman Christine Welch said in an email. “These things don’t stop for the holidays (and) neither does the need for blood.” The American Red Cross urgently needs blood and platelet donors to give now to help ensure blood remains available this holiday season for vital medical treatments and unforeseen emergencies, Welch said, adding blood and platelet donations allow patients the treatment they need at a moment’s notice. Santa Clarita Valley residents who hope to assist in the fight to save lives can do so on three occasions before the end of 2018 by donating at one of of the upcoming blood drives, Welch said, mentioning Wednesday’s blood drive at the Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge from 2 to 7 p.m. and Sunday’s drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Best Buy located at 26531 Bouquet Canyon Road. There will also be a blood drive held at the Acton-Agua Dulce Library from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Welch added. You can make an appointment to donate blood and platelets by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767. Now is an important time to give blood and platelets, because a seasonal decline in donations often occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel, Welch said. In addition, severe winter weather can cause blood drive cancellations and negatively affect the blood supply. As a special thank-you for helping The Red Cross meet the urgent need of blood and platelet donations, those who give blood from now through Jan. 6 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, according to the release from Welch . For those unable to donate in 2018, the new year will bring more opportunities to give the gift of life, as the Santa Clarita Old West Masonic Lodge will be the site of another blood drive from 1 to 7 p.m. Jan. 2, according to Welch. You can visit RedCross.org for more information on the local blood drives that will occur every day between Jan. 2 and 15. For those who are unable to donate, another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer transportation specialist and deliver lifesaving blood products to local area hospitals, according to the release. “Volunteer transportation specialists play a very important role in ensuring an ample blood supply for patients in need by transporting blood and blood products.” For more information on how to become a volunteer transportation specialist, visit rdcrss.org/driver.

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About the author

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson

Brennon Dixson covers education for the Signal. He comes to Santa Clarita from Long Beach, where he was previously employed by the Press Telegram in Long Beach and the Daily Breeze in Torrance.