Association of Science and Technologies Centers

Science Centers and Museums Can Play Life-Saving Role During COVID-19

The American Red Cross needs the help of U.S. science centers and museums.

Red Cross has shortage of healthy blood donors

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact communities across the United States, the Red Cross mission—to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies—continues with a deepened resolve. One example of essential emergency response is to remain steadfast in providing hospitals and patients with lifesaving blood.

As of March 29, approximately 10,000 blood drives have been canceled across America as schools and companies close their doors; 80% of donated blood comes from these now-closed sources. This has resulted in 300,000 fewer blood donations.

The need for blood is constant, every two seconds in America. One of the most important things community members can do to ensure we do not have another health care crisis—on top of the current crisis—is to give blood.

Today, the most pressing Red Cross call to action is for science centers and museums to step forward to host blood drives, helping to provide those in need with life-saving blood.

The good news is that healthy community members continue to book blood donation appointments to help save lives. In fact, Red Cross fixed locations have appointments booked for the coming weeks as the organization continues to work around the clock to identify new hosted sites so that it can keep up with the critical need due to so many blood-drive cancellations.

Your community-based institution could help be the solution to an impending blood shortage by hosting a blood drive.

Please rest assured that as an emergency preparedness organization, the Red Cross has taken additional steps to ensure the safety of staff and donors at each drive. Please see this Red Cross Safety Memo and you can visit this site to learn more.

Additionally, the U.S. Surgeon General and CDC are urging healthy community members to continue to give blood as giving blood falls under the “essential activity” category in Stay at Home and shelter-in-place executive orders.

We hope you heed the call to help save lives and share information:

  1. To express interest in serving as a blood donation site location, please visit rcblood.org/astc and someone from the Red Cross will be in touch with you directly. You can also learn more about hosting a blood drive and how it works.
  2. To help the Red Cross publicize the critical need for blood donations in the coming weeks and months, please post messages through your social media channels by using sample posts found in this social-media toolkit. Please also follow Red Cross accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share relevant posts with your followers in your community and beyond.

To make a blood donation appointment yourself, please visit redcrossblood.org, call (800) RED CROSS (800-733-2767), or download the Blood Donor American Red Cross App.

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