MANCHESTER — The American Red Cross and the National Football League are teaming up this January, during National Blood Donor Month, to urge individuals — especially those who have recovered from COVID-19 — to give blood and to help tackle the national convalescent plasma shortage. Right now, more donors are needed to help hospital patients.

During this critical time, the Red Cross and NFL offer all those who come to donate an opportunity to receive a special thank you this month. Those who come to donate blood or platelets this January will be automatically entered to win two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles.* In addition, those who come to give January 1-20, will also be automatically entered to win the Big Game at Home package for an awesome viewing experience safely at home, with a 65-inch television and a $500 gift card to put toward food and fun.**

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood today with the American Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.

As COVID-19 cases have risen across the U.S., so has the need for convalescent plasma — leading to a shortage of this potentially lifesaving blood product. Like “special teams” units on the field, COVID-19 survivors have a unique ability to make a game-changing difference in the lives of COVID-19 patients. Individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 may have antibodies in their plasma that could provide a patient’s immune system the boost it needs to beat the virus.

How those recovered from COVID-19 can help

There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help — through a convalescent plasma donation or by simply giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used to help COVID-19 patients. Health emergencies don’t pause for holidays, game days or a pandemic — blood is needed every two seconds in the U.S. to help patients battling injury and illness.

Blood donation safety precautions

To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or who believe they may be ill with COVID-19 should postpone their donation.

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 help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities for January:

Belknap

Alton

1/7/2021: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Saint Katharine Drexel Church, 40 Hidden Springs Road

Belmont

1/12/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., St. Joseph Church, 96 Main Street

Laconia

1/18/2021: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Leavitt Park House, 334 Elm St.

1/27/2021: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., Leavitt Park House, 334 Elm St.

Meredith

1/12/2021: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Meredith Office Complex, 8 Maple St., Suite 1

1/28/2021: 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., Meredith Office Complex, 8 Maple St., Suite 1

Tilton

1/16/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tanger Outlet Center, 120 Laconia Road

1/27/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Tanger Outlet Center, 120 Laconia Road

1/28/2021: 11 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saint Mary of the Assumption Church, 16 Chestnut Street

1/30/2021: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tanger Outlet Center: Building 3, 120 Laconia Road

Carroll

Moultonborough

1/15/2021: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m., Moultonborough Lions Club, 139 Old Route 109A

1/29/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Moultonborough Lions Club, 139 Old Route 109A

Wolfeboro

1/20/2021: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., The Wolfeboro Inn, 90 N Main Street, P O Box 1270

1/6/2021: 1 p.m. - 5:30 p.m., The Wolfeboro Inn, 90 N Main Street, P O Box 1270

Grafton

Bristol

1/19/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Marian Center, 17 West Shore Rd.

Plymouth

1/13/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., Common Man Inn, 231 Main Street

1/28/2021: 1 p.m. - 6 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 354 Fairgrounds Rd

About blood donation

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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

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