Red Cross Encourages Giving the Gift of Life: Your Blood

Tragedy and even health care alone know no holiday, and that’s why the Red Cross is encouraging your goodwill in giving the gift of life through a blood donation.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, more than 1 million units of blood could be transfused in the United States. Individuals are urged to give a lifesaving gift this holiday season by making an appointment to donate blood or platelets and help the American Red Cross ensure a sufficient supply is available for patients throughout the holiday season. Those with type O blood are especially needed.

It was on September 28th last year that MaKenzie Schienebeck experienced a complication during her pregnancy and found herself losing blood extremely fast. She was in and out of consciousness and felt her life slipping away. Schienebeck was given blood transfusions on the way to the hospital, during emergency surgery and after surgery. She says, “I would not be alive today if it was not for the American Red Cross and the gracious donors who gave their blood,” and adds, “Blood is more than just blood. It’s the key to saving lives.”

During the holiday season, you are encouraged to set aside an hour to give blood and be the lifeline patients need. You can make an appointment now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

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In thanks for helping meet the urgent need, those who come to give blood or platelets now through December 18th will receive a $5 Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see More information and details are available at

Here are upcoming blood donation opportunities across the region between December 2nd and 31st:

Berrien County

  • Niles on 12/10/2019: 12 pm – 4:45 pm, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1409 Niles Buchanan Rd
  • St. Joseph on 12/18/2019: 11 am – 4:45 pm, Caretel Inns of Lakeland, 3905 Lorraine Path
  • Watervliet on 12/19/2019: 12 pm – 5:45 pm, Knights of Columbus, 7454 Paw Paw Avenue
  • Three Oaks on 12/20/2019: 12 pm – 5:45 pm, American Legion Three Oaks, 200 W Linden St


Cass County

  • Edwardsburg on 12/23/2019: 1 pm – 5:45 pm, Edwardsburg American Legion, 25751 US 12
  • Dowagiac on 12/27/2019: 12 pm – 5:45 pm, Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church, 210 North Front Street
  • Cassopolis on 12/31/2019: 10 am – 3:45 pm, Pleasant View Church of Christ, 60550 Crooked Creek Road


Van Buren County

  • Paw Paw on 12/11/2019: 12 pm – 5:45 pm, Knights of Columbus, 32373 East Red Arrow Highway
  • South Haven on 12/26/2019: 12 pm – 5:15 pm, St Basil Catholic Church, 513 Monroe Boulevard
  • Mattawan on 12/27/2019: 12 pm – 5:45 pm, St. John Bosco Parish, 23830 Front Avenue

Ton donate, you can simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40-percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, you can visit or, or visit them on Twitter at @RedCross.