Give the gift of life this holiday season

The Red Cross in Springfield will be open Thanksgiving for donations

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The gift of good health is one reason families will stop to give thanks this week. But that blessing is one that’s denied to many. It’s why the Red Cross is urging you to make blood or platelet donation high on your to-do list this holiday season.

While you’re getting ready for your Thanksgiving dinner Thursday, the Red Cross will be open and gratefully accepting donations. Platelet donations, which many cancer patients depend on, only have a shelf life of about five days. Two of those days are lost to testing, which makes the demand almost constant.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It only takes about an hour donate, and your one pint could save up to three lives.

“You really are giving the gift of life to people when you come out and donate blood. It can give them more holidays and more time with their family. It’s such a precious gift, it makes such a huge difference,” said Ana Parrelli, district manager of donor recruitment.

One Chicopee donor has made blood and platelet donation a priority for decades. He told 22News it always touches him to picture the families he helped.

“I got the letter that said a young girl and her mother both got my platelets and they were doing good. How does that make you feel? Fantastic,” said Stephen Majgier.

You can donate blood if you’re 17 years old — 16 with your parent’s consent… weigh more than 110 pounds, and are in good health.. even if you take medication.

Hampden County
11/27/2014: 8:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m., Springfield Blood Donation Center, 150 Brookdale Drive
11/28/2014: 8:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Springfield Blood Donation Center, 150 Brookdale Drive
11/29/2014: 8:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Springfield Blood Donation Center, 150 Brookdale Drive
11/30/2014: 8:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Springfield Blood Donation Center, 150 Brookdale Drive

Agawam
11/28/2014: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Agawam Fire Department, 800 Main Street

Hampshire County
Amherst
11/26/2014: 8:30 a.m. – 2 p.m., Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main Street

Northampton
11/26/2014: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Cooley Dickinson Hospital, 30 Locust Street

Berkshire County
Lee
11/28/2014: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Lee First Congregational Church, 25 Park Place

Lanesboro
11/29/2014: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Berkshire Mall, Old State Road

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org <http://www.redcrossblood.org/>  or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.

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