Red Cross 100 days of summer, 100 days of hope campaign seeks new donors

The American Red Cross is urging blood and platelet donations to make up for expected shortfall due to Fourth of July holiday travel.

Blood and platelet donations decline during the summer months, especially around holidays like Independence Day.  Holiday travel causes many donors to be less available to give and many hosting organizations postpone blood drives while people are on vacation.

According to Red Cross spokesman Josh Hauser during the summer months, on average, about two fewer donors schedule an appointment to give blood at Red Cross blood drives than what patients need. This can add up to more than 100,000 fewer donations during the summer.

The Red Cross needs to collect 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

Also, about 20 percent of blood donations are collected at high schools and universities. When school is out of session the Red Cross tries to double efforts to reach those that would normally come out to donate.

“This time of year always presents a challenge for us,” said Hauser. “The need for blood doesn’t get a vacation and we’re always working to ensure we have an adequate blood supply for those patients who are receiving treatment no matter what time of year it is.”

This year, the American Red Cross “100 days of summer. 100 days of hope” campaign is sponsored by Suburban Propane. The campaign started May 23 and will run until Sept. 7, 2015.

“100 days of summer. 100 days of hope” is designed to engage eligible donors to choose their day to donate blood or platelets. Blood donors with all types, and particularly O negative, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are urged to make an appointment to give this summer.

Suburban Propane Partners, L.P. is a nationwide energy provider supporting an advertising public awareness initiative about the constant need for blood and platelet donations. They are encouraging employees and customers to give blood or platelets and volunteer at Red Cross blood drives and facilities.

Hauser said it is one of the largest national volunteer commitments to the Red Cross Blood Services from a corporate partner.

“Suburban Propane is committed to giving back to our communities, and we can’t think of a better way than by helping the Red Cross increase blood and platelet donations for patients in need this time of year,” said Suburban Propane’s Chief Operating Officer Mark Wienberg. “We encourage individuals across the country to join the Suburban Propane family in rolling up a sleeve to help save lives.”

Suburban Propane employee and platelet donor, Will Haropolous, learned that the need for blood may be closer than one thinks. Haropolous stopped by a restaurant he frequents following a platelet donation, and one of the restaurant staff asked about the bandage on his arm.

“I told her that I just donated. She confided in me that she was a hemophiliac and then thanked me,” said Haropolous. “By donating, you may be helping save the life of a total stranger, or it just may be someone you know,”

Donna M. Morrissey, director of national partnerships, Red Cross Biomedical Services said the organization is pleased with Suburban Propane’s help in raising awareness.

“The Red Cross appreciates Suburban Propane, its employees and customers for raising awareness of the need for blood and platelets this summer and giving themselves,” said Morrissey. “Their support helps the Red Cross continue to ensure blood products are available for patients whenever and wherever they are needed.”

As an extra incentive, from July 2-6 donors will receive a Red Cross embroidered baseball cap, while supplies last.

“Adding blood or platelet donation to a vacation to-do list can mean so much to patients and their families,” said Hauser. “It’s a simple act, taking as little as an hour, but can touch many lives.”

Britanie Morgan can be contacted at