February blood drives

  • Posted: Friday, February 1, 2013 12:57 a.m.

February is Black History Month. African-Americans have played a critical role in the history of the American Red Cross, and in just a few short minutes, a blood donor can help change the course of history for a patient in need.

“About 70 percent of African-Americans have type O or type B blood. These are often the first blood types to reach critically low levels during a shortage,” said Delisa English, chief executive officer of Carolinas Blood Services Region. “African-American blood donors play a critical role in meeting the constant need for blood.”

Approximately 100,000 people in the United States, most of them African-American, are affected by sickle cell disease. One of the most common treatments for this disease is regular blood transfusions. Many of these patients have rare blood types unique to African-Americans, meaning these patients rely on donors with matching blood types from the same ethnic or genetic background.

The contributions African-Americans have made to blood banking over the years go beyond donating blood. African-Americans have helped shape blood services programs within the Red Cross. In the 1940s, Dr. Charles Drew laid the foundation for modern blood banking through his pioneering work in blood collection and plasma processing and served as the first medical director of the first Red Cross blood bank. And, the world-renowned Holland Research Laboratory in Rockville, Md., bears the name of educator and U.S. Ambassador Jerome Holland who streamlined the growth of Red Cross laboratories in the early 1980s.

“The Red Cross encourages donors to help make history and celebrate the contributions of Dr. Charles Drew, Jerome Holland and African-American blood donors across the nation by giving the ‘Gift of Life’ this February,” added English.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, Sunday, Feb. 3, 1 to 5:30 p.m.

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Carroll T. Overton Elementary School, Friday, Feb. 8, 1:30 to 6 p.m.

Calvary Baptist Tabernacle, Sunday, Feb. 10, 1 to 5:30 p.m.

E.H. Dole chapter blood drive, Monday, Feb. 11, noon to 4:30 p.m.

Faith Elementary, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 3 to 7:30 p.m.

Faith Baptist, Sunday, Feb. 24, 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.

St. John’s Lutheran Church, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2:30 to 7 p.m.

To find a convenient blood donation opportunity near you, or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-336-413-3311 or visit redcrossblood.org.

Notice about comments:

Salisburypost.com is pleased to offer readers the ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Salisburypost.com cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Salisburypost.com. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Full terms and conditions can be read here.

Do not post the following:

  • Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
  • Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
  • Personal attacks, insults or threats.
  • The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
  • Comments unrelated to the story.