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American Red Cross, Country Music Star Martina McBride urge Americans to give comfort through Blood Donation

Suburban Propane is supporting the effort by offering blood donors a chance to win an Outdoor Living Experience, powered by Propane for those who give now through December 15th

American Red CrossNashville, TN – The American Red Cross and country music star Martina McBride have joined together this holiday season to remind people to take care of one another, sharing comfort and joy with hospital patients through the gift of blood donation.

Health emergencies don’t pause for a pandemic or holiday celebrations. The Red Cross needs the help of blood donors across the country now to ensure patients continue to have access to lifesaving blood.

American Red Cross phlebotomist Marquis Lewis visits with Kimberly McCaw while she donates blood. (Jason Miczek, American Red Cross)
American Red Cross phlebotomist Marquis Lewis visits with Kimberly McCaw while she donates blood. (Jason Miczek, American Red Cross)

As the U.S. experiences a new surge in COVID-19 Coronavirus cases, the Red Cross is becoming increasingly concerned about the nation’s blood supply – including convalescent plasma.

A convalescent plasma donation collects plasma from COVID-19 Coronavirus survivors because antibodies to the disease in their blood may help patients who are currently fighting the virus.

Increased hospitalization of patients with coronavirus this fall and winter has caused the American Red Cross to distribute a record number of COVID-19 plasma products to hospitals treating patients who are battling the virus.

This holiday season, Martina McBride is reaching out to country music fans and all eligible individuals, “If nobody has ever asked you to give blood before, I’m asking you to give blood – especially during this trying time.” 

As a thank-you for helping meet the need for blood donations from now through December 15th, Suburban Propane is offering blood, platelet and plasma donors a chance to win an Outdoor Living Experience, powered by Propane, to enable a lucky winner to enjoy socially distanced celebrations with family and friends this holiday season. The prize includes a propane-powered pizza oven, fire pit, outdoor heater and stipend towards propane.*

“Through our SuburbanCares initiative, giving back to our local communities is a top priority, and what better way to do that than to donate blood. Suburban is delighted to sponsor a Propane Experience Giveaway to help motivate more people to give the gift of life this holiday season,” said Nandini Sankara, spokesperson for Suburban Propane.

Eligible individuals are urged to make an appointment to donate blood now to help patients in need. Find a donation opportunity using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1.800.RED CROSS (1.800.733.2767).

“Giving comfort to patients by providing lifesaving blood products is fundamental to the Red Cross mission. However, it’s not possible without the support of generous blood donors and dedicated partners, like Martina McBride and Suburban Propane,” said Paul Sullivan, senior vice president at the Red Cross.

“While we have certainly experienced unparalleled hardships this year, we have also witnessed great acts of kindness – like COVID-19 survivors rolling up their sleeves to share their antibodies with patients battling the illness. Donating blood, plasma or platelets is an act of kindness that truly makes a lifesaving difference,” Sullivan stated.


Lifesaving plasma brings joy and a second chance

Lacy Atkinson is a 37-year-old COVID-19 Coronavirus survivor, in part thanks to a stranger who rolled up their sleeves to donate convalescent plasma and help her body fight back. Atkinson’s life was turned upside down when she was hospitalized for COVID-19 Coronavirus in September. During her stay, infectious disease doctors tried multiple treatments to help her recover with limited success – but she just wasn’t getting better. “My oxygen levels were still low, and I had severe pneumonia in both my lungs,” Atkinson said.

Desperate to help her, doctors offered the one treatment they had left: convalescent plasma. Thankfully, this treatment helped her recover. “I felt such gratitude for the donor who helped me beat COVID. I have a husband, two kids and three dogs that I desperately wanted to get home to. I have a lot of life left to live! I’m so thankful that plasma was available when I needed it.”

COVID-19 antibody testing of blood donations

The Red Cross is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies which helps provide insight to donors concerning possible prior exposure to this virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within one to two weeks through our Red Cross Blood Donor App or on the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.

As part of this effort, plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 Coronavirus antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma. Each week, whole blood donors with COVID-19 Coronavirus antibodies are helping to contribute between 350-500 units of potentially lifesaving convalescent plasma for patients in need.

The American Red Cross is not administering diagnostic tests intended to diagnose illness. As such, to protect the health and safety of our staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 Coronavirus postpone donation.


Blood donation safety precautions 

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?the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)?public guidance.?? 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 1-15:

American Red Cross
1760 Madison Street
Clarksville, TN 37043

12/2/2020: 10:30am – 4:30pm.

12/7/2020: 10:30am – 4:30pm.

12/9/2020: 10:30am – 4:30pm.

12/14/2020: 10:30am – 4:30pm.


Blanchfield Army Community Hospital
650 Joel Drive
Fort Campbell, KY 42223

12/7/2020: 10:00am – 4:00pm.



Doug Varner State Farm
185 Beasley Drive
Dickson, TN 37055

12/10/2020: 10:00am – 3:00pm.


Jackson Chapel United Methodist Church Community Center
3008 Bowker Road
Charlotte, TN 37036

12/12/2020: 9:00am – 2:00pm.


Office Depot
415 Highway 46 South
Dickson, TN 37055

12/14/2020: 11:00am – 3:00pm.


Petrie Memorial United Methodist Church
202 East Main Street
Elkton, KY 42220

12/11/2020: 12:00pm – 6:00pm.



St Stephen Catholic Church
1698 Canton Road
Cadiz, KY 42211

12/1/2020: 11:00am – 5:00pm.


Walnut Street Church of Christ
201 Center Avenue
Dickson, TN 37055

12/10/2020: 10:30am – 3:30pm.

About blood donation 

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.


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