Red Cross Encourages Blood Donation During the Holidays

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Blood Donation

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVQ) – As freezing temperatures and harsh weather grip much of the nation, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to make an appointment to give blood or platelets to help meet the constant need for blood this winter.

Millions of people are expected to take to the roads, rail and air to celebrate the season, which can cause fewer donors to be available and lead to a decline in blood and platelet donations. In addition, severe winter weather and seasonal illnesses can temporarily prevent some from giving. Donors with all blood types are needed now to help patients. As a special thank you for taking the time to donate, those who come out to give Dec. 22 through Jan. 8 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

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“Many of us celebrate this time of year with loved ones, but patients may spend the holidays and ring in the new year from a hospital room,” said Todd Wagner, director of donor recruitment of the Red Cross River Valley Blood Services Region. “Blood and platelet donors can bring joy to patients and their families by giving blood or platelets to help ensure patients receive the lifesaving treatments they need.”

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Kentucky Department of Agriculture, 109 Corporate Drive Frankfort, KY 40601
12/22/2016: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Walmart, 1015 New Moody Lane La Grange, KY 40031
12/23/2016: 1:30 – 6 p.m.

Walmart, 500 Taylorsville Road Shelbyville, KY 40065
12/26/2016: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Frankfort Blood Donor Center, 318 Washington St. Frankfort, KY 40601
12/23/2016: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
12/30/2016: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
1/6/2017: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
1/13/2017: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church, 3301 W. Highway 22 Crestwood, KY 40014
1/3/2017: 2 – 7 p.m.

Cedar Lake Lodge, 3301 Jericho Road La Grange, KY 40031
1/6/2017: 12:30 – 4:30 p.m.

Trimble County Library, 35 Equity Drive Bedford, KY 40006
1/11/2017: 3 – 7 p.m.
Cornerstone Christian Academy, 3850 Frankfort Road Shelbyville, KY 40065
1/12/2017: 1 – 6 p.m.

300 Building, 300 Sower Blvd. Frankfort, KY 40601
1/13/2017: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Walmart, 1015 New Moody Lane La Grange, KY 40031
1/13/2017: Noon – 4 p.m.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. 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.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Volunteers needed
Another way to support the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross is to become a volunteer. Volunteers with flexible schedules are needed to support blood collection in the areas of: greeter and canteen specialists in most areas; and warehouse and transportation specialists in selected areas. Volunteer greeters assist with blood drive registration. Volunteer canteen specialists assist with distributing snacks to blood donors. Warehouse volunteers assist with packaging blood drive supplies and transportation specialists play a very important role by transporting blood and blood products. For more information and to apply for a greeter, canteen, warehouse or transportation volunteer specialist position, visit: http://www.redcross.org/volunteer

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.