The American Red Cross has an emergency need for lifesaving blood amid the ongoing severe blood shortage. Blood and platelet donations continue to be critical to meet hospital demand and the public is urged to make an appointment to give now.

The Red Cross has been distributing about 12% more blood products to hospitals across the U.S. compared to this time last year. The Red Cross needs to collect more than 1,000 additional blood donations each day to meet the current hospital demand and end the severe blood shortage. Donors of all blood types are needed, especially type O, which stands at just a one-day supply right now.

To thank donors who help ensure a strong blood and platelet supply this month, all who come to give between Aug. 1 and 15 will automatically be entered for a chance to win an exclusive, VIP trip for two to the sold-out 2021 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Those who come to donate throughout August will also receive a free four-month subscription offer to Apple Music by email (new subscribers only). More details are available at

Donors who give now will help stock the shelves as we wind down the summer season. Schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

In most cases, those who have received a COVID-19 vaccine can donate. However, knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine they received is important in determining donation eligibility.

Locally, upcoming blood drives include:

Wednesday, Aug. 4, 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Belfast Boat House, 34 Commercial St., Belfast.

Thursday, Aug. 12, 1 to 6 p.m., Brooks Penecostal Church, 178C Monroe Highway, Route 7,

Saturday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Waldo County YMCA, 157 Lincolnville Ave., Belfast.

Thursday, Sept. 9, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Waldo County YMCA, 157 Lincolnville Ave., Belfast.