Here's the significance: every two seconds in the USA, blood and platelets are desperately needed to respond to accident and burn victim emergencies, heart surgeries and organ transplant procedures, as well as patients receiving cancer treatments.
In fact, donations have fallen short of expectations for the past two months, resulting in about 61,000 fewer donations than what is needed.
That means the Red Cross needs to collect 14,000 blood donations every day.
"Last year at this time, there was a critical nationwide shortage of blood and many blood centers along the east coast are now issuing an emergency appeal".
Nancy Russ of the American Red Cross is appealing for potential donors to find the time. Almost one-third fewer new blood donors came out to give last summer than during the rest of the year due in part to schools - where blood drives are held and where new donors give - being out of session during the summer months.
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"Oh, I donate like six times a year", said Albert Carr, a volunteer with the American Red Cross.
"Nearly 700 fewer blood drives are scheduled during the Independence Day week than in the weeks before and after the holiday", the Red Cross said in a news release on Wednesday.
All those who come to donate at this blood drive on July 11 will receive one free ticket, valid for entry to participating U.S. Cedar Fair parks, including Cedar Point, Kings Island and others, while supplies last. Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too. The Red Cross has added about 25,000 additional appointment slots at donation centers and community blood drives across the country over the next few weeks to help accommodate an influx of donors.
Donors need to schedule appointments to give blood, by going online at redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767.
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