Red Cross amid blood shortage: Donate for chance to win Super Bowl trip

A shortage of blood donors across the country has gotten so severe, it could delay medical procedures.

On Sunday, the American Red Cross announced an emergency blood shortage and called on individuals to start the new year by donating – as January is known as National Blood Donor Month.

"Only 3% of our population donates blood," said Becky Gaskin, the executive director of the Red Cross East Central Bay Chapter.

To help persuade more people, "those who come to give blood, platelets or plasma in January will automatically be entered for a chance to win a trip for two to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas," according to the Red Cross. 

The nonprofit has long struggled with a shortage of donors, but the COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the issue.

"During the (COVID-19) pandemic, we really saw a decrease in donations when we couldn’t be at high schools, we couldn’t be at faith-based organizations," Gaskin said. "We don’t want to have delay in people’s medical procedures and the things that they need – people who are experiencing cancer or have chronic diseases, like sickle cell disease, who rely on blood transfusions." 

A Southeast Michigan mother learned just how crucial blood donations are after her son Roland was born.

"My son was born premature so his bones were not able to make enough blood for his body," said Aimee Meeker. "Having those blood donations, he was able to get five blood transfusions during his hospital stay, which allowed him to fight."

Today, Roland is a healthy 2-year-old child, and Meeker plans to do her part. She hopes if others are eligible to donate, they will too.

"I’m going to do at least five donations because my son received five transfusions," Meeker said.

To donate, check out the Red Cross Blood Donor App, call 1-800-Red-Cross, or visit the website and schedule an appointment here.

Click here for more information on the Red Cross Super Bowl prize.

"The winner and guest will get to enjoy Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas, access to day-of in-stadium pre-game activities, tickets to the official Super Bowl Experience, round-trip airfare to Las Vegas, three-night hotel accommodations (Feb. 9-12, 2024), plus a $1,000 gift card for expenses," according to the Red Cross.