FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Allison Dillow
Director of Marketing & Engagement
United Way of Washington County, MD
301.739.8200 x 104
United Way and American Red Cross Partner to Host Days of Caring Community Blood Drive
HAGERSTOWN, MD (August 26, 2020) – United Way of Washington County and The American Red Cross of the Greater Shenandoah Valley have partnered to offer the community an alternative opportunity to give back through the Days of Caring by hosting a Community Blood Drive. The Days of Caring Community Blood Drive is a three-day event that will offer individuals the opportunity to participate in the 29th Annual Day of Caring, Washington County’s single largest volunteer effort, by donating blood.
Since March, when COVID-19 introduced a concern for donors to give blood, over 40,000 blood drives have been cancelled, resulting in over 1 million blood donations going uncollected. “The need for blood remains critical, especially in the midst of the pandemic. Communities and people remain cautious about being in close contact with others, and at the same time, blood drives continue to be not only an essential health service, but a safe way to give back to others in this time of need. We’re proud to be able to support the United Way of Washington County on multiple days to recognize their Day of Caring this year.” – Eric Anderson, Executive Director, American Red Cross – Greater Shenandoah Valley.
Since June 15th, the Red Cross began testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. Red Cross antibody tests will further help to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Additionally, the Red Cross hopes testing for COVID-19 antibodies will provide our valued donors insight into whether they may have been exposed to this coronavirus. We recognize that individuals and public health organizations desire more information about COVID-19, and as an organization dedicated to helping others, the Red Cross is fortunate to be able to help during this pandemic.
“The effects of COVID are making it very difficult for our volunteer population to engage in traditional volunteer opportunities throughout their communities due to safety concerns. One of the many objectives from the Days of Caring Community Blood Drive is to identify and provide our volunteers with additional safe alternatives to volunteering on Day of Caring. We want to encourage everyone to get out and do something, safely. Every single pint of blood has the potential to save three lives. Our goal is to collect 80 pints over our three-day Community Blood Drive.” - Allison Dillow, Director of Marketing & Engagement, United Way of Washington County, MD.
The Days of Caring Community Blood Drive will allow individuals the opportunity to social distance and remain safe at all times. Donors will be given a temperature check and will be required to wear a mask. The Red Cross only collects blood from donors who are healthy and feeling well at the time of donation, as well as meeting other health requirements. In addition, volunteers and employees are taking additional safety precautions to ensure the health and safety of all involved.
The three-day event will take place at the American Red Cross – 1131 Conrad Court in Hagerstown from Tuesday, September 15th through Thursday, September 17th from 12:30pm – 6pm. Anyone interested in more information about this event or to schedule an appointment, may contact Allison Dillow (United Way) at email@example.com or Eric Anderson (Red Cross) firstname.lastname@example.org. Donors can also make an appointment to give blood at other locations by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
United Way of Washington County, MD inspires collaborations to impact community improvement. United Way is located at 83 West Washington Street, Suite 101 in Hagerstown, MD. For more information or to make a donation please call 301-739-8200 or visit our website at www.unitedwaywashcounty.org. To find volunteer opportunities please visit http://volunteer.unitedwaywashcounty.org/.