Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Score a Three-Pointer for Patients at the Columbia Lifesavers Hoop It Up Blood Drive

As basketball courts heat up this month, the Red Cross and the City of Columbia are calling on the Columbia community to join a lifesaving team by giving blood.

Donors can score three points for patients when they give blood on Friday, Feb. 26 at the Columbia Lifesavers Hoop It Up blood drive. Each pint of blood donated can help save up to three lives. The blood drive is 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln St. Sponsors include the City of Columbia, Mayor Steve Benjamin and the South Carolina Red Cross Board of Directors.

The blood drive comes at a critical time for the Red Cross. Winter and colder weather take a toll on blood donation. Severe weather and seasonal illnesses can mean fewer people give blood. But no matter the season, patients in South Carolina rely on blood donors to make sure the blood they need is available. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.

“The American Red Cross fulfills a vital role in our community by preventing and alleviating suffering in the face of disaster and is a true reflection of the humanitarian and volunteer spirit of the American people,” said Mayor Benjamin. “It speaks to the heart of our community and without a doubt confirms we are One Columbia.”

Presenting donors at the blood drive will receive an American Red Cross T-shirt and a basketball stress reliever, while supplies last, and be entered for a chance to win the RBC Heritage grand prize package which awards one donor a pass to the RBC Heritage Golf Tournament on Hilton Head Island.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code famouslyhot.

Items and offers are nontransferable and are not redeemable for cash.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), 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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Running for the Red Cross

Race day is coming up for runners across South Carolina and the American Red Cross is ready! The Myrtle Beach Marathon will take place March 3rd through March 5th. Weather reports are calling for perfect running temperatures. The Bridge Run in Charleston is set for April 2nd.

Whether you've been training all winter or just looking for a fun way to spend the weekend, there are plenty of ways you can benefit the Red Cross.

The Myrtle Beach Marathon will kick off it’s 19th year with a Runner’s Expo on Thursday March 3rd followed by a Fun Run, 5K and Post Race on Friday. The marathon will start Saturday at 6:30 a.m. The Post Race Party, hosted by the House of Blues starts at 5:00 p.m. Safety is the first priority at the Myrtle Beach Marathon. Bag inspections and enhanced security measures have been put in place to ensure a safe and enjoyable day for everyone. A portion of the proceeds from the marathon benefit the Red Cross.

For runners looking to kick it up a notch, the Red Cross Rescue Racers Program is the official charity training team for The Myrtle Beach Marathon. For 19 years, Rescue Racers have trained together and raised thousands of dollars for their local Red Cross chapter. The Rescue Racers Program is open to anyone. Participants receive guidance from seasoned marathoners and experienced trainers plus, a great group of new friends. You can register now and be ready for next year's race! 

Back in Charleston, the Bridge Run has selected the American Red Cross as one of the 15 most deserving charities. This means runners will have the option to purchase a Red Cross bib for $150 and receive free entry to the Bridge Run and free packet mailing while representing the Red Cross during the race. If you'd rather participate without breaking a sweat, you can join the 75 Red Crossers volunteering behind the scenes. 

It's time to hit the road running. See you out there!