Red Cross seeks holiday blood donations

By: Staff report

We’re deep into a season of giving, but donations of blood — the gift of life — are running short, as usual.

But there are six ways to remedy that this holiday season and into the new year, at Richmond County churches and organizations that have scheduled blood drives.

“The need for blood is constant” — for emergencies and routine surgeries, said Kayla Barrett of the Red Cross in Charlotte, which organizes drives in this area.

But during the holidays, “everybody is traveling, everybody has a lot of shopping to do … so they don’t donate (blood as) regularly.”

And one of the main sponsors of blood drives — schools — is out, so parents and high-schoolers old enough to make their own decisions cannot donate.

Potential donors are asked to sign up online. Visit and put your ZIP code into the search box to find blood drives scheduled for your area.

Some drives take whole blood, some platelets and some, what is called “power red,” similar to a whole-blood donation, except a special machine will process donations of two units of red blood cells while returning plasma and platelets to the donor.

Appointments run in 15-minute increments and allow a donor to walk in, be hooked up and give in rapid order. Walk-ins without appointments are discouraged.

“We really appreciate our donors,” Barrett said. “We want them to wait as short a time as possible” to donate.

Staff report

Dec. 21: 3-7:30 p.m., Masonic Lodge 495, 1107 Fayetteville Road, Rockingham. This drive is not available for online scheduling. Search for a new blood drive or call 1-800-733-2767.

Dec. 27: 1-5:30 p.m., Family Video, 1327 Fayetteville Road, Rockingham. Free Red Cross T-shirt while available.

Jan. 9: 1-5:30 p.m., Hamlet Masonic Lodge, 307 Main St., Hamlet, NC 28345.

Jan. 12: 3-7:30 p.m., Jefferson Park Freewill Baptist Church, 308 Forrest St., Rockingham.

Jan. 19: 1-6:30 p.m., First Baptist Church, 2116 Main St., Ellerbe.

Jan. 24: 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Cole Auditorium, Richmond Community College, 1042 W. Hamlet Ave., Hamlet.