"Not all superheroes wear a cape, so you can be someone's hero today", said Alana Mauger, external communications manager for the Penn-Jersey Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.
In Mansfield, an upcoming blood donation opportunity will take place from noon until 6 p.m. Thursday at the Dairy Queen at 309 Ashland Road. One of the reasons people admit to never giving blood is their fear of needles - a fear that many Red Cross donors have overcome.
Brittany Scalise donating platelets with the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross says the blood shortage often worsens around the Fourth of July because there are fewer volunteer-driven blood drives during around the holiday, almost 700 fewer blood drives are scheduled during the Independence Day week than the weeks before and after the holiday.
The American Red Cross says it is facing a critical blood shortage. "And I've probably given about 20 gallons of blood over time". Donors can help even more people by inviting a family member, friend or co-worker to donate too.
Donors can schedule an appointment by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-733-2767. In a recent survey of Red Cross blood donors, more than 73 percent indicated vacation plans this summer, many of them occurring the weeks before and after Independence Day. The Red Cross also advises individuals to complete a RapidPass online health history questionnaire to help speed up the donation process.