By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Be a holiday hero -- donate blood

The American Red Cross urgently needs blood donors to make an appointment now to give and help ensure patients can get the treatment they need at a moment’s notice.

The next opportunities to donate blood in Barton County will be this Thursday, Dec. 20, from noon to 6 p.m. at Walmart in Great Bend and from 12:30-6:30 p.m. at the Hoisington Activity Center.

According to the Red Cross, now is an important time to give blood. A seasonal decline in donations occurs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day when donors get busy with family gatherings and travel. In addition, severe winter weather can cause blood drive cancellations and negatively affect the blood supply.

People can make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

As a special thank-you for helping meet the urgent need, those who come to give Dec. 20 through Jan. 6 will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

Claflin - Dec. 28 - 12:30-6:30 p.m. at the Claflin Community Center, 409 A Street

Ellinwood - Dec. 24 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ellinwood District Hospital, 605 N. Main

Great Bend - Dec. 20 - noon to 6 p.m. at the Walmart Supercenter, 3503 10th Street

Hoisington - Dec. 20 - 12:30-6:30 p.m. at the Hoisington Activity Center, 1200 Susank Road

La Crosse - Dec. 21 - noon to 6 p.m. at the La Crosse City Auditorium, 417 Main

Great Bend will have three additional donation sites in January:

Jan. 3 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heartland Cancer Center, 204 Cleveland

Jan. 8 - 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at River Bend Assisted Living, 3820 Broadway Ave.

Jan. 12 - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the VFW Post 3111, 504 Washington St.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.