By Michael Kempesty
Rutland will once again be host to the Gift of Life Marathon Blood Drive during December but this year the Red Cross, working with Green Mountain Power, Catamount Radio and Castleton College, has made some changes. This year there will be 12 Days of Giving beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 2 through Dec. 16. There are blood drive locations and times to fit everyone’s schedule.
Blood donations often decline between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day as people become busy with holiday festivities, the American Red Cross encourages all eligible blood donors to schedule their appointments before the holidays kick into high gear.
Eligible donors with types O negative, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to donate double red cells when available. For patients battling life-threatening illness as well as transplant recipients and accident victims there is no holiday from needing blood.
Although the format for the Gift of Life event has changed the goal remains a challenging one – 2,000 pints of lifesaving blood. We at the Red Cross are once again asking our friends in the Rutland area to step up and help us through this challenging time of year for blood collection.
Please put “scheduling a blood donation” at the top of your holiday list of things to do. This gift won’t cost you a thing but will help save up to three lives.
To schedule your appointment visit giftoflifemarathon.com or call 800-RED-CROSS.
Michael Kempesty is the CEO of Northern New England Blood Services Region American Red Cross.