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Two Sun Prairie churches will host American Red Cross blood drives in early June to help address the urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage:

• Our Savior’s Lutheran Church will host a blood drive from 9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4 at the church, located at 550 Lincoln Drive.

• Living Water Church will host a blood drive from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Wednesday, June 10 at the church, located at 3075 Prospect Ave., located in the Providence neighborhood.

Healthy individuals who are feeling well are asked to make an appointment to donate in the weeks and months ahead by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Red blood cells must be transfused within 42 days of donation and platelets within just five days so they must constantly be replenished.

That’s not the only reason: COVID-19 has resulted in the cancellation of scores of blood drives throughout Wisconsin and the U.S. Because of that, the amount of blood expected to be donated during those drives is not available to the Red Cross.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.

High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

The American Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. That public means you and all able-bodied people able to roll up their sleeves and donate blood.

People who have said they’ve felt helpless during COVID-19 can now take positive action to do something about it by donating blood. And in case you are concerned, each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance.

So you can safely give blood and help those in need. It’s time to roll up your sleeve.

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