WARREN - The holidays bring many families together for times of giving. But for families dealing with a cancer diagnosis or other major illness, the holidays can be difficult, Christy Sabaka, communications program manager of the Red Cross Northern Ohio Blood Services Region, said.
"Historically, during the winter months of November, December and January, fewer donors make the time to give blood due to competing seasonal activities, celebrations and holiday shopping,'' Sabaka said. ''By doing something that doesn't cost a thing, you can give an amazing gift you can offer hope to a patient in need.''
The Red Cross is running a ''Give Something that Means Something'' winter campaign for blood or platelets for hospital patients in need.
The organization will host blood drives on Friday in both Warren and Youngstown.
At Packard Music Hall in Warren, all who donate will receive raffle items, coupons from Panera Bread and other local businesses, a pouch of coffee from Top Shelf Coffee, and a plant, compliments of Trumbull Memorial Hospital. Entertainment and food will also be provided by local restaurants.
At Stambagh Auditorium in Youngstown, all who donate will receive refreshments, coupons from Chick-Fil-A and Panera, raffle items and a holiday plant compliments of Northside Medical Center.
Local blood drives:
Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Stambaugh Auditorium, 1000 Fifth Ave., Youngstown
Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave., Warren
- American Red Cross
Times are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Warren and 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Youngstown. Some of the gifts for donors are while supplies last.
Donors are encouraged to make an appointment at redcrossblood.org and entering the sponsor code ''PMH" for Packard Music Hall or "44504" for Stambaugh Auditorium, or by calling 800-RED CROSS.
Sabaka said all blood types are needed.
A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 or older, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 and younger also have to meet additional height and weight requirements.