Veterans, families and caregivers can receive a $10 gift card and win a chance for a private movie screening, all while helping the nation’s blood supply.

As a result of low blood donor turnout in recent months, the Red Cross is heading into the holidays with its lowest blood supply in more than a decade at this time of year. The ongoing effects of COVID-19 and a summer spike in delta variant cases significantly challenged the nation’s blood supply heading into the fall. The pandemic also resulted in fewer blood drives at schools and colleges, contributing to a 34% drop in new blood donors from last year − one of the largest year-to-year decreases and one that could threaten essential medical care for patients.

Don’t wait. Humanity needs you to help patients enjoy all the holiday season has to offer. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a thank-you, all those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec.16 will be automatically entered for a chance to win a private screening for the winner and 50 of their guests of the epic new film “The Matrix Resurrections.” Plus, those who come to give Nov. 29-Dec. 16 will also get a $10 Gift Card by email, thanks to Amazon.*

Health insights for donors

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.

Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at

Blood drive safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors should schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. The Red Cross needs all blood types to ensure a reliable supply for patients. Donors must present a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification 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 or use the Blood Donor App.

*Terms apply. Visit

The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of VA.

By VAntage Point Contributor

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Published on Nov. 29, 2021

Estimated reading time is 3.1 min.

Views to date: 937


  1. Charles E. Seabold December 5, 2021 at 12:33 pm

    I was a blood donor for many years, gave many gallons of blood or plasma. Every time there was a local blood drive I donated to the Red Cross and lately to Versiti. I was diagnosed with ALS last April, donated to Versiti shortly thereafter with full disclosure to them that I had been diagnosed with ALS, which they took my blood with no problems. When the next blood drive came around, I received a message from Versiti that they couldn’t take my blood anymore, but did not explain why. It has been a few months since then and I have received no invitations to donate blood from either one. I have been told that ALS is not contagious, so is my blood no good anymore??? Why don’t they want my blood anymore?? I have never donated to any blood drives for the rewards only to help anyone that needs it.

  2. Colleen December 4, 2021 at 12:27 pm

    In the past, I donated blood regularly. I served in Italy in the early 80’s and haven’t been able to donate blood due to the possible risk of Mad Cow exposure. Are the restrictions still in place?

  3. Loraine W Headrick December 4, 2021 at 10:50 am

    I donate blood and/or plasma regardless of whether there is a “prize.” I donate because I know it helps others. All this complaining is just sad

  4. Keith December 2, 2021 at 11:06 am

    I donate blood and/or plasma regardless of whether there is a “prize.” I donate because I know it helps others. All this complaining is just sad.

  5. Phyllis Finch December 2, 2021 at 10:25 am

    I assumed since my blood was thrown away years ago, that veterans couldn’t donate blood! What year did this change?

  6. Christopher Johnson December 2, 2021 at 9:46 am

    How do I receive the Amazon card? I donated blood on November 17, 2021.

  7. Luis Silva December 2, 2021 at 9:29 am

    Don’t feel you are penalized. I don’t receive the gift card last time I donated. I’m still going again but I did not appreciate the bait and switch. I don’t know who else did not get their gift card.

  8. Chico Arrythis Rhasiatry December 2, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Peace to you,

    Although the intentions are honorable, this article supports racialism and White supremacy. It would be better to say that The Red Cross is looking for people who have sickle cell to donate blood. As you may know, members of all groups of people have sickle cell, although the probability among those with brown skin is higher. Millions of light skin people have sickle cell in North America too.

    This article supports the concept of Lipieza De Sangre which is the foundation of racism/ white supremacy.

    Let us who are anti- racism be more careful in our language so as to not support racism/ White supremacy with scientific sounding statements that mislead. Rather, let us communicate in such a way to be in favor of humanity. I admit, this is NOT easy.

    I am available to help with copywriting toward that effect. This communication is in support of anti- racism.

    • NoneofYourBusiness December 2, 2021 at 10:48 am

      Not everything is about race…go donate blood to help others or don’t, no one cares about your opinion on anything else!

    • Barbara Johnson December 3, 2021 at 8:22 am

      Your comment was not intended to bring peace, only dissention. You say the intention was honorable, and accurate; but you called them white supremacists, and racist. The only way to change the dialog is for people like you to stop playing a race card and adding fuel to the fire.

  9. Richard Hamm December 2, 2021 at 8:30 am

    Why are blood donors not allowed to donate directly to local hospitals and possibly cutting out the expensive middleman? Red Cross has always been a blood sucking high overhead operation.

  10. David December 1, 2021 at 9:19 pm

    If the Red Cross goes back to testing donated blood for the presence of COVID antibodies, I would be happy to start donating again. They can keep their Amazon cards and movie screenings.

  11. rich December 1, 2021 at 7:34 pm

    Bullsht I’m being penalized $10.00 because I have Hemochromatosis, and not able to donate blood!!!

    • Barbara Johnson December 2, 2021 at 9:41 am

      Penalized? You should be glad some of your fellow vets might get an extra $10 in their pocket; instead of whining that you don’t. I can’t give either. I do feel bad that I can’t help, but I certainly don’t feel angry that I don’t get $10.

Comments are closed.

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