FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The American Red Cross urges eligible donors to be the lifeline for patients in need this holiday season by making an appointment to give blood. While helping to save lives is likely motivation enough, those who come out to give Nov. 18-Dec. 18 will also receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. Still need reasons to fit lifesaving blood donation into busy holiday schedules? Try these three:

It’s quick and easy to find a convenient blood drive. Search for drives by ZIP code and make an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at RedCrossBlood.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Donors can save time by completing a RapidPass®. The entire donation process only takes about an hour, but donors can save time with RapidPass. Pre-donation reading and health history questions can be completed online to save about 15 minutes.

Donors will get important health information. Donors receive a mini-health screening to help determine eligibility that includes blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin readings. First-time donors will also find out their blood type soon after donating.

The Red Cross supports patients at 2,500 hospitals nationwide and more than 80 hospitals in the Indiana Ohio Region alone. As schedules fill with holiday parties, shopping and fun with friends and family, many blood donors delay giving. Unfortunately, that may lead to delays in treatments for patients relying on blood. Right now, there is a critical need for type O blood donors.

The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give Nov. 18-Dec. 18 with a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Thanks.) Additionally, those who come to give Nov. 27-30 will receive an exclusive long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Allen County

Delphos

12/4/2019: 2 p.m. - 7 p.m., Knights of Columbus, 1011 Elida Ave.

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Mercer County

Rockford

12/5/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., New Horizons Community Church, 833 S. Main St.

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Paulding County

Paulding

12/12/2019: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., First Christian Church, 1233 Emerald Road

12/17/2019: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Paulding County Hospital, 1035 W. Wayne St.

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Van Wert County

Convoy

12/16/2019: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Redeemer Lutheran Church, 6727 State Route 49

Van Wert

11/29/2019: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Moose Lodge 1320, 740 W. Ervin Road

12/13/2019: Noon - 4 p.m., Lee Kinstle Sales and Service, 650 W. Ervin Road

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, 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 RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.