American Red Cross launches new campaign to combat lower turnout of blood donors during summer

ROANOKE, Va. – Every two seconds in the United States someone needs blood,” said Roanoke Valley American Red Cross Executive Director Jackie Grant.

Grant says that summer can be a challenging season for collecting blood.

"People don't give as much in the summer because schools are closed. People are on vacation and the need for blood in the summer is more important,” said Grant.

Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital says it, too, sees this first hand. 

"We see a decrease in the donor numbers, but we also have an increase on the trauma numbers, which makes it pretty risky,” said Sarah Beth Dinwiddie, trauma outreach coordinator.

The American Red Cross hopes a new campaign, #MissingTypes, will bring in more donors, especially A, B and O blood types. 

“The American Red Cross is taking the letters A, B, and O out of names, and out of the American Red Cross, to show if those types went missing, people in critical need of blood wouldn't have access to it,” said Grant.

The Red Cross wants local groups, organizations and businesses to help raise awareness by removing the A, B, and O from their names, too. 

“If they can eliminate it, they can take it out of a neon sign or eliminate it on their signature on their email,” said Grant. 

They hope this gets people's attention to bring in former and new donors.

“What happens if it’s your family? Don't you want that blood to be there in the hospital and be ready for you,” said Dinwiddie.