Red Cross urges blood donors to celebrate the legacies of Charles Drew, Jerome Holland

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
Upcoming area blood drives include Dodge City, Cimarron and Plains from Feb. 16-27. © The American National Red Cross 2018

The American Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors, especially those who have recovered from COVID-19, to give blood to honor the legacies of Black people like physicians Charles Drew and Jerome Holland in honor of Black History Month.

According to the American Red Cross, Drew, a Black surgeon, was the medical director of the first Red Cross blood bank in 1941.

Holland was the first Black chair of the Red Cross Board of Governors.

By giving blood, platelets or plasma to help patients in need, COVID-19 survivors are especially needed to address a convalescent plasma shortage.

The Red Cross stated individuals may have antibodies in their plasma that could help patients currently battling the virus.

Blood donation appointments can be made through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Ford County

• 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 27, Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center, 4100 W. Comanche St., Dodge City

Gray County

• 2-6:30 p.m. Feb. 16, Cimarron Church of the Nazarene, 406 N. 1st Ave., Cimarron

Meade County

• 3-7 p.m. Feb. 18, Plains Community Center, 812 Grand Ave., Plains

Each  blood drive includes temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff. Those wishing to donate blood are asked to schedule an appointment before arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

For more information, visit RedCrossBlood.org.

To contact the writer, email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com.