The following area American Red Cross blood drives will take place in January:

  • Crosslake: Noon-6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, Crosslake Community Center.
  • Merrifield: 1-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, Clow Stamping Company.
  • Pequot Lakes: Noon-6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, Our Savior's Lutheran Church.

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.

The American Red Cross and the National Football League teamed up during National Blood Donor Month to urge individuals - especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 - to give blood and to help tackle the national convalescent plasma shortage. More donors are needed to help hospital patients.

The Red Cross and NFL are offering people who donate blood or platelets in January to be automatically entered to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. In addition, those who donate blood by Jan. 20 will also be automatically entered to win the Big Game at Home package for a viewing experience safely at home, with a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card.

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“Blood and plasma donors who have recovered from COVID-19 may have the power to help critically ill patients currently battling the virus,” Dr. Erin Goodhue, Red Cross medical director of clinical services, said in a news release. “With hospital distributions for convalescent plasma increasing about 250% since October, these generous donations are vital in helping to save lives throughout the winter - a time that is often challenging to collect enough blood products for those in need.”

There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help - through a convalescent plasma donation or by simply giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients.

To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions - including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff - have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance.

Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.