American Red Cross officials are seeing fewer blood donors this summer and they are encouraging people to locate a blood drive in their area to donate in an effort to prevent a shortage.
On Tuesday, the American Red Cross issued an emergency request for donors of all blood types after seeing about 10 percent or 50,000 fewer donations across the country in June.
Denton County has several drives scheduled this month and next to support the Red Cross’ efforts. The city of Pilot Point has a blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 102 E. Main St.
“The city of Pilot Point is targeted to collect 37 units, which means usually 50 people,” said Alice Holloway, city secretary.
June can be among the most challenging months to collect enough blood and platelet donations, said Jane Hale, Red Cross spokeswoman.
Many regular donors become busy with summer activities and are unable to make giving blood a priority, she said.
Hale said about 20 percent of donors are typically high school and college students, but during the summer break, their donations drop.
Donations from those who usually give at these drives drop by more than 80 percent when school is out for the summer.
The Red Cross is asking for the public’s help now to prevent a more serious shortage, according to officials.
The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that provides shelter, food and emotional support to victims of disasters.
It also supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, and it depends on volunteers and the generosity of the public to perform its mission, according to the organization’s website.
In a press release, CEO Steve Nagle said the organization is counting on generous volunteers to step up and give.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, and each day, donations come up short, he said in the release.
Those who wish to donate can do so by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting www.redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information.
A blood donor card, driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.
Potential donors must be 18 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in generally good health.
Other drives are planned at:
Freebirds World Burrito in Lewisville, 565 E. Round Grove Road, from 5 to 8 p.m. today.
Sanger High School, 713 S. 5th St., from 2 to 7 p.m. July 24
Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 S. Interstate 35E, from noon to 4 p.m. July 27.
For more information and a list of more drives, visit redcross.org.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 and via Twitter at @JDHarden.