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Red Cross offers Amazon gift cards for blood donations
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A medical technologist goes through a drawer of blood bags Monday, June 15, 2021, inside the Northeast Georgia Medical Center blood bank. The Northeast Georgia Health System, like many medical facilities across the country, are facing a blood shortage due to fewer donations during the pandemic and the resumption of elective surgeries. - photo by Scott Rogers

The American Red Cross is offering $10 Amazon gift cards to those who donate blood July 7-31 to fight a severe national blood shortage, similar to what the Northeast Georgia Medical System has seen recently

Donors of all blood types can make an appointment to help ensure hospitals are stocked with blood products over the Fourth of July holiday. The Red Cross is working to provide blood products to hospitals responding to an unusually high number of traumas and emergency room visits, as well as overdoses and transplants, according to a statement from the Red Cross. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries.

You may schedule an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting or calling 1-800-733-2767. 

All those who donate July 1-6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered hat, while supplies last. Donors who come July 7-31 will receive a $10 gift card by email, plus a chance to win gas for a year (a $5,000 value). 

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine you received is important in determining donation eligibility.

People must bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification. You must be at least 17, weigh at least 110 pounds and in generally good health. High school students and other donors 18 and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Upcoming events include 1-6 p.m. July 1 at Sterling on the Lake Clubhouse, 7005 Lake Sterling Blvd., 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. July 2 at Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St. NE and 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. July 15 at Northeast Georgia Health System, 743 Spring St.