HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – As the summer season approaches, the American Red Cross sees a decrease in blood donations, but the need for those donations never goes away.
“We know that this time of year is a very challenging time for the Red Cross and other blood collecting agencies because many people are focused on vacations for the first time, while the weather is warm, so we understand that donating blood is not top of mind,” said Jonathan McNamara, Red Cross Regional communications director.
That’s why the organization is teaming up with the American Cancer Society for a new push to “Give Blood to Give Time.”
Most people think of blood donations as helping others after something like an accident or medical emergency, but blood transfusions are just as important for people undergoing cancer treatments.
“We’ve all been touched by cancer in some way in our lives, whether it was an individual battle or a family member, a coworker, and why this is so important from the aspect of donating blood is that any cancer patients, as part of their treatment, need to receive platelets,” McNamara said.
The two groups hope to raise awareness about how blood and plasma donations help cancer patients and they hope that will increase donations.
“At the end of the day, this is about saving lives,” said McNamara. “If there is somebody else at the other end of that donation who you as a donor will likely never meet, but that makes it such a special opportunity for you to give a piece of yourself to help somebody in their fight against cancer, I can’t think of anything more personal.”
In addition to the decrease in donations as summer approaches, the loosening of COVID-19 restrictions means more things for people to do, which they worry will mean less people filling chairs at blood drives.
So how can you help?
McNamara says people can help in four ways — donating blood, sharing ways to help on social media, hosting a blood drive, and volunteering with the organization.
Here are some upcoming blood drives in Hampton Roads. Click here to schedule your appointment.
Chesapeake – June 11
The Chesapeake Fire Department “Mayor’s Cup” blood drive is coming up on Friday, June 11. It’s being held at the Great Bridge Community Center at 212 Holt Drive from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Everyone who donates blood will be entered into drawings to win prizes!
The Chesapeake Sheriff’s Office will also hold a blood drive on June 23 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be held at the sheriff’s office Admin Training Room at 401 Albemarle Drive in Chesapeake.
The sheriff’s office will dive away prizes and coupons to those who participate. Donors will also receive lunch and snacks from local restaurants and businesses. Coupons/gift certificates include Chick-fil-A, Dairy Queen, Dula’s Fish on the Fly food truck, Big Ugly Brewing, Auto Bell
Car Wash, and more. There will be cash and gift card giveaways every hour.
To make an appointment by phone, call Debbie Schultz at (757) 382-1548 or email
Hampton – June 3 & June 23
The City of Hampton and the American Red Cross are sponsoring the Mayor’s Cup Blood Drive on Thursday, June 3, from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. in the lobby of City Hall, and on Wednesday, June 23, from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Ruppert Sargent Building. Please visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter code: HamptonCity to schedule an appointment.
Norfolk – Various dates
City of Norfolk
Waterside District, 333 Waterside Drive, Norfolk, VA
Wednesday, June 2, 2021
Tuesday, June 8, 2021
10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
** When you donate blood at either of these blood drives, you’ll receive a free Norfolk Tides ticket to use in September.
Sponsor Code: NorfolkCity
Effingham Street Family YMCA
1013 Effingham St, Portsmouth, VA
Sunday, June 13, 2021
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sponsor Code: YMCASHR
Norfolk Police Department
Red Cross Mayor’s Cup Blood Drive
Norfolk Botanical Garden, 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk
Monday, June 21
Noon to 6 p.m.
Schedule your donation at http://RedCrossBlood.org and then enter NorfolkCity
Suffolk – July 2
The East Suffolk Recreation Center will host a Community Blood Drive with the American Red Cross on Friday, July 2 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, located at 138 South 6th Street.
Donors of all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative, and A negative.
When you donate blood between the dates of July 1st through July 6th, you’ll receive an exclusive Red Cross embroidered hat as a thank you, while supplies last. All donations are being tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
For more information, or to make an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED-CROSS, or sign up online at redcrossblood.org with sponsor code ESRC
Amazon is also thanking donors June 14-30 with a $5 gift card by email. See rcblood.org/together for details.