Red Cross: Critical need for blood and platelet donors

The American Red Cross currently has a critical need for blood donors of all blood types - especially type O - and platelet donors to make an appointment now to give and help replenish the blood supply after the holiday weeks.

Right now, the Red Cross says it has less than a three-day supply of type O blood. During the weeks of Christmas and New Year's, about 500 fewer blood drives were hosted nationwide by volunteer sponsor groups than required to meet patient needs.

Many groups postpone blood drives during the winter holidays when travel and holiday activities may make it challenging for many donors to give. In fact, AAA estimated that a record 115.6 million Americans traveled during the holiday period of Dec. 21 through Jan. 1.

Donors are urged to make an appointment to give using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 800-RED CROSS (800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Local donation opportunities are as follows:

• Bellows Falls, Jan. 23, noon to 5 p.m., United Church of Bellows Falls, 8 School St.

• Brattleboro, Jan. 28, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, 17 Belmont Ave., and Feb. 3, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fraternal Order of the Eagles, 54 Chickering Dr.

• Chester, Jan. 20, noon to 5 p.m., Newsbank Conference Center, 352 Main St.

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