Though this summer may feel different than summers past, one thing remains constant: The need for blood donations to help save lives. The  Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to give blood to restock the shelves for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected.

 Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people across the country have stepped up to help by giving blood or platelets with the Red Cross. Blood donations from healthy individuals are just as essential now to meet patient needs, and those who gave this spring may be eligible to help again.

 Donation appointments can be made for the coming days and weeks by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Locally, a Blood Drive has been scheduled at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch on Thursday, Aug. 6 from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., plus at St. Peter and Paul’s Catholic Church in Braham on Friday, Aug. 14 from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.

 As a thank-you for helping ensure a stable blood supply, those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma, including convalescent plasma, Aug. 1-Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Amazon. Plus, come to give by Aug. 31 and automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for four to Cedar Point or Knott’s Berry Farm, redeemable through the 2021 season.

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