American Red Cross is partnering with the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation and Miss Connecticut 2013 Kaitlyn Tarpey, the former Miss Southington, to sponsor a Blood Donation Challenge during the month of February to help raise awareness about the need for blood during this critical time of year.
Since the beginning of January, a press release from the Red Cross explained, winter storms and freezing temperatures have resulted in more than 600 American Red Cross blood drive cancellations and nearly 20,000 uncollected blood and platelet donations. In other words, the release said, the number of cancellations throughout January is the equivalent of the Red Cross having to shut down its operations across the nation for more than an entire day. Overall, 26 states and Washington, D.C. have had blood drives canceled because of weather. Despite the winter storms and resulting blood drive cancellations, hospital patient care must continue. Like the emergency room of a hospital, the Red Cross needs to be prepared to respond to patient emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. On average, the Red Cross must collect about 15,000 pints of blood every day for patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.
To help ensure blood is available for patients in need, Kaitlyn Tarpey, the 2013 Miss Connecticut titleholder, is encouraging the Connecticut community to donate blood during February and to share their experience on their Twitter feeds. All participants should follow @MissCTAmerica or @RedCrossBloodCT and tweet a picture of their donation experience, such as their “I donated blood” sticker and use the hash tag #MissCTRedCross.
As a special thank you, all participants will be entered into a drawing to win a $200 Visa Gift Card. Additional details can be found at http://www.redcrossblood.org/promotions/ct/february-blood-donation-challenge.
“The American Red Cross relies on generous contributions from organizations like the Miss Connecticut Scholarship Corporation to help us fulfill our lifesaving mission,” said Steve Mavica, Communications Manager for the Connecticut Blood Services Region in a press release. “We are so grateful for Miss Connecticut’s support to help ensure blood is available for those in need.”
The Miss Connecticut Scholarship Pageant, a preliminary to the Miss America pageant, is a scholarship and service-based nonprofit organization. Young women who participate in the organization are committed to community service and civic responsibility. “It’s important to remember that giving blood is a simple act that helps save lives,” said Kaitlyn in the Red Cross’s press release. “You never know when a friend, family member, or co-worker or even you will need a transfusion, so blood must be available before it is needed. When it comes to the life of a loved one, every drop counts.”
To schedule an appointment to donate, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS. To give blood, someone must be at least 17 years of age, meet weight and height requirements and be in general good health. Donors should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID with them.