By Amalia Kortright, For The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — The American Red Cross is teaming up with Suburban Propane to begin their summer campaign for blood and platelet donations on May 27. The campaign begins on Memorial Day weekend, and will last until the end of Labor Day Weekend.
Those who donate blood or platelets between May 27 and May 31 will receive a free Red Cross T-Shirt. The American Red Cross relies on donors for the 14,000 patients that need blood per day. According to Suburban Propane’s Chief Development Officer, Mark Wienberg, giving blood during the summer months is crucial. There are an estimated two fewer donors than are needed for every patient in May, June and July.
“By expanding our partnership with the Red Cross this year, we can continue the life-changing work of the Red Cross and make an even bigger difference in communities across the country,” said Wienberg.
Suburban Propane is a nationwide distributor of propane and fuel oil. The company is based in Whippany, NJ, and serves agricultural customers in 41 states. According to Donna Morrissey, director of national partnerships for the Red Cross Biomedical Services, Suburban Propane has worked with the Red Cross since 2012.
“Last year’s ‘100 Days of Summer, 100 Days of Hope’ marked our first nationwide, summer-long partnership,” said Morrissey. “The Red Cross depends on corporate sponsors like Suburban Propane to help ensure blood and platelets are available to patients who are in need of life-saving transfusions and to help our communities prepare for disasters large and small.”
In addition to acting as the official sponsor for the Red Cross’s campaign, Suburban Propane employees will also volunteer at blood drives as part of one of the nation’s largest volunteer efforts from a corporation.
The American Red Cross has made a difference in the lives of several Suburban Propane employees, including Debbie Traub. When her 74-year-old father suffered life-threatening injuries after falling from a ladder in May 2014, he spent 20 days in the I.C.U. and received several blood transfusions.
“Patients don’t get a summer holiday from needing life-saving blood and platelet donations and are counting on generous volunteers to help maintain a sufficient supply this summer,” said Morrissey.
There are several opportunities to donate blood and platelets in the Birmingham area. The UAB Medical Center is available to take donations at the North Pavilion on 1806 6th Ave. S. The Caldwell Trace Donor Center is also taking donations at 700 Caldwell Trace.
There will also be a blood drive at First Baptist Church Trussville from 2 to 7 p.m. on June 7.
For more information on how to make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767. Two forms of identification are required at check-in, and donors must meet certain weight and height requirements.