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The American Red Cross and country music star Martina McBride have joined together this holiday season to remind people to take care of one another, sharing comfort and joy with hospital patients through the gift of blood donation. 

Health emergencies don’t pause for a pandemic or holiday celebrations, according to a press release from the Red Cross. The Red Cross needs the help of blood donors across the country now to ensure patients continue to have access to lifesaving blood.

There are plenty of dates, times and locations in Williamson County to donate blood. See list of sites below.

As the U.S. experiences a new surge in COVID-19 cases, the Red Cross is becoming increasingly concerned about the nation’s blood supply – including convalescent plasma. A convalescent plasma donation collects plasma from COVID-19 survivors because antibodies to the disease in their blood may help patients who are currently fighting the virus. Increased hospitalization of patients with coronavirus this fall and winter has caused the Red Cross to distribute a record number of COVID-19 plasma products to hospitals treating patients who are battling the virus. 

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Martina McBride

This holiday season, Martina McBride is reaching out to country music fans and all eligible individuals.

“If nobody has ever asked you to give blood before, I’m asking you to give blood – especially during this trying time,” she said through the press release.  

As a thank-you for helping meet the need for blood donations from now through Dec. 15, Suburban Propane is offering blood, platelet and plasma donors a chance to win an Outdoor Living Experience, powered by Propane, to enable a lucky winner to enjoy socially distanced celebrations with family and friends this holiday season. The prize includes a propane-powered pizza oven, fire pit, outdoor heater and stipend towards propane.* 

Eligible individuals are urged to make an appointment to donate blood now to help patients in need. Find a donation opportunity using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.orgor calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

COVID-19 antibody testing of blood donations

The Red Cross is testing all blood donations for COVID-19 antibodies which helps provide insight to donors concerning possible prior exposure to this virus. 

Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or on the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. As part of this effort, plasma from whole blood donations that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma. 

Each week, whole blood donors with COVID-19 antibodies are helping to contribute between 350-500 units of potentially lifesaving convalescent plasma for patients in need. 

The Red Cross is not administering diagnostic tests intended to diagnose illness. As such, to protect the health and safety of staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Blood donation safety precautions 

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. 

Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.   

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Dec. 1-15 in Williamson County:

216 Centerview Drive Building 7, #120, Brentwood, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Brentwood Family YMCA, 8207 Concord Road, Brentwood, Dec. 1, 2-7 p.m.

Brentwood United Methodist Church, 309 Franklin Road, Brentwood, Dec. 13, 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Christ Community Church, 1215 Hillsboro Road, Franklin, Dec. 15, 3-8 p.m.

City of Brentwood, Brentwood Library, 8109 Concord Road, Brentwood, Dec. 2, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dec. 3, 2-6:30 p.m.; Dec. 8, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 9, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dec. 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

City of Franklin, 109 3rd Ave. S., Franklin, Dec. 9, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CoolSprings Galleria, 1800 Galleria Blvd., Franklin, Dec. 2, 12:30-5:30 p.m.; Dec. 8, 12:30-5:30 p.m.

Lowe's Home Improvement, 3060 Mallory Lane, Franklin, Dec. 8, 12-6 p.m.

myNEXUS, 105 Westwood Place, Suite 400, Brentwood, Dec. 2, 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., 

Natchez Trace American Red Cross-Leaders Save Lives, 129 W. Fowlkes, Suite 100, Franklin, Dec. 4, 3:30-7:30 p.m.; Dec. 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Dec. 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Dec. 9, 2-6 p.m.

Saint Philip Catholic Church, 113 2nd Ave., Franklin, Dec. 6, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 12-4 p.m.

Trilliant Health, 2 Maryland Farms, Brentwood, Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

United Healthcare, 10 Cadillac Drive, Suite 155, Brentwood, Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Westhaven Community, 401 Cheltenham Ave., Franklin, Dec. 4, 12-6 p.m.

*See complete official rules and terms and conditions of the giveaway.

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