American Red Cross will host blood drive to honor responder agencies

The American Red Cross hosts a blood drive that invites participants to vote for the responder agency they’d like to honor. Last year, the event collected 124 pints of blood and honored the North Carolina Highway Patrol.

From the American Red Cross press release:

Give the gift of life with the American Red Cross and at the same time, honor the men and women who keep our community healthy and safe! Members of the Asheville community are asked to roll up their sleeves February 29, 2012 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church in downtown Asheville for the 2nd annual “Battle of the Badges” campaign. Those who come out to donate can cast their vote for their favorite local first responder agency. The Red Cross will honor the department earning the most votes.

Last year, Asheville’s “Battle of the Badges” drive collected 124 pints of lifesaving blood, and the Red Cross honored the North Carolina Highway Patrol for receiving the most votes. This year, the drive is aiming to collect even more units. Participating agencies:

North Carolina Highway Patrol
Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office
Asheville Fire Department
Asheville Police Department
Buncombe County EMS

“The Battle of the Badges campaign is a wonderful opportunity to partner with our first responders and collect those lifesaving units of blood we so desperately need during the winter months,” said Joyce Brendel, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. “We are so excited to honor the heroes who put their lives on the line for us every day, and we are also looking forward to the fun competition!”

People who come out to donate will receive an American Red Cross “Lifesaver” t-shirt and will be eligible to win a pair of roundtrip Delta Air Lines tickets. They will also be entered to win one of three, three-day oceanfront vacation rentals at The Islander Inn and Suites on Emerald Isle, North Carolina, courtesy of Bluewater Real Estate and Vacation Rentals.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, please call Stacy Taylor at 828-258-3888, ext. 414 or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code AVLBattleofBadges. If donors are not able to come to the February 29 drive, they can donate at the Asheville Blood Donation Center on Merrimon Avenue on February 27, 28 or March 1.

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be safely given every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.


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