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American Red Cross seeks blood donations, financial support

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Blood is processed during an American Red Cross blood drive at the Council Bluffs Public Library on Jan. 24, 2020.

Besides collecting blood for life-giving transfusions, the American Red Cross responds to disasters and global conflict, according to the agency.

The Red Cross urges people to visit redcross.org on Giving Tuesday today or during the holidays to make a financial contribution or an appointment to give blood or platelets. Individuals can also learn about volunteer opportunities in their area and give back in honor of American Red Cross founder Clara Barton, whose 200th birthday will be commemorated on Dec. 25.

This year has been one of the nation’s most active years for severe weather, which battered many communities still reeling from last year’s disasters — a sign that climate-driven disasters are compounding the financial hardships of the pandemic, Red Cross officials said in a release. For thousands of people in need, the Red Cross launched a new major relief effort every 11 days to provide refuge, food and care. Families displaced by a disaster in the U.S. spent an average of almost 30 days in a Red Cross-supported emergency shelter. These extended stays were largely due to a lack of savings and community housing shortages.

Around the world, massive humanitarian needs emerged in 2021 for a growing number of families displaced by the overlapping challenges of conflict, COVID-19 and climate change. At the request of federal government partners, Red Cross workers from across the country distributed more than 2.1 million essential items — like blankets, diapers, medicine and toys — for Afghan evacuees arriving on U.S. military bases and unaccompanied children seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border.

To meet the increasing needs of hospital patients, the Red Cross distributed 250,000 more blood products in 2021 than last year, until the Delta variant began to spread in August. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors — one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients.

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. Blood donations are desperately needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

All those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will automatically be entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the new film, “The Matrix Resurrections.” Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Amazon gift card by email, thanks to Amazon.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in the area include the following:

Pottawattamie County

Dec. 1 — 8 a.m.-2 p.m., AHSTW High School, 768 S. Maple, Avoca

Council Bluffs

Dec. 2 — 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., St. Albert High School, 400 Gleason Ave.

Dec. 5 — 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Corpus Christi Catholic Parish Center, 3304 Third Ave.

Dec. 5 — 8 a.m.-2 p.m., New Horizon Presbyterian Church, 30 Valley View Drive

Dec. 6 — 12-5 p.m., Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce, 149 W. Broadway

Dec. 7 — 12-6 p.m., Green Hills Area Education Agency, 24997 Highway 92

Dec. 9 — 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., First Christian Church, 20794 Highway 92

Dec. 13 — 12-5 p.m., New Horizon Presbyterian Church, 30 Valley View Drive

Dec. 17 — 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Country House Residence, 1831 E. Kanesville Blvd.

Dec. 20 — 12:30-6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn & Suites, 2202 River Road

Dec. 9 — 1-6 p.m., Neola Community Center, 110 Fourth St., Neola

Dec. 4 — 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Shelby Community Building, 500 East St., Shelby

Dec. 16 — 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Community Center, 11 W. Main St., Treynor

Cass County

Dec. 8 — 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m., CAM High School, 1000 Victory Park Road, Anita

Fremont County

Dec. 16 — 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Sidney United Faith Church, 1975 Highway 275, Sidney

Harrison County

Dec. 8 — 12:30 -6 p.m., St. Patrick Church, 312 S. Third St., Dunlap

Dec. 23 — 12-6 p.m., Rand Community/Senior Center, 100 S. Fourth St., Missouri Valley

Mills County

Dec. 6 — 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Glenwood High School, 504 E. Sharp St., Glenwood

Montgomery County

Dec. 17 — 8 a.m.-2 p.m., Viking Center, 501 Elliot, Stanton

Page County

Dec. 22 — 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Lied Center, 1140 E. Main, Clarinda

Shelby County

Dec. 6 — 12-6 p.m., St. Joseph’s Hall, 118 Main St., Earling

Dec. 1 — 12-6 p.m., St. Mary’s Parish Center, 204 St. Mary Ave., Panama

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