Red Cross: There’s an app for that

The American Red Cross has released an app that simplifies the blood donation process.

Abbie Stuart, [email protected] washburn.edu, is a freshman English major.

The American Red Cross has released a first-of-its-kind Blood Donor App, which is dedicated to making the process of donating blood more convenient. With the app, donors can find nearby donation areas, make appointments and unlock rewards.

“That’s probably my most favorite feature,” said Jan Hale, Communication Manager for the Red Cross, about the rewards feature.

The Red Cross has teamed with some of the biggest brands across the United States in effort to get more people to donate. The brands will offer discounts and other special offers to donors.

“It’s just the Red Cross way to tell our blood donors thank you for their continued support,” added Hale.

Other features of the app include the opportunity for donors to track their total donations as individuals or as a team, have access to stories about donors and recipients and sync blood donation appointments with their personal calendar on their smartphone.

“It’ll help make being a blood donor more easy and convenient,” said Hale.

The purpose of the app, according to Hale, is to get people more involved in the blood donation process.

Cynthia Wiard, a WU junior who is majoring in nursing, praises the Red Cross for using tech as a means to target and connect with young potential donors.

“I think that the app is a great idea because newer generations are becoming more centered around their phones,” said Wiard. “People would get updates of when a blood drive is.”

The Red Cross supplies around 40 percent of the blood used in the United States. Demand is always heavy across the country.

“Every two seconds, someone in our country needs blood,” said Hale. “The Red Cross just really urges those who are reading your article to consider becoming a blood donor. Consider downloading the app because for us, this is an additional way to help make sure that blood’s available where it’s needed and when it’s needed.”

“There has always been a shortage of blood, so it’s really important for people to donate” added Wiard. “I’m O+. I always try to give blood when I can because I know it can save someone’s life.”

To donate blood, all individuals must be 17 years or older, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. While no form of identification is needed to make an appointment to donate blood, a blood donor card, driver’s license, or other form of identification are required when someone checks in to donate blood.

“We urge people who are considering donating to just give it a shot. Download the app, make an appointment, and help us save a life,” said Hale.

The free app can be downloaded directly from an app store, by texting BLOODAPP to 90999, or visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp. No personal information is required to get the app, but if a donor has an already existing profile on the redcrossblood.org, then that information will be synced to the app.