Building a Virtual Blood Network

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Published on August 04, 2010 with No Comments

Donating blood has never been more social.

With a presence on Facebook, You Tube, Twitter and Flickr, the American Red Cross provides an array of electronic opportunities for blood donors to build a virtual community. Donors, too, can subscribe to blogs, view photostreams, participate in professional networking services and listen to podcasts.

“Our online presence is growing,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Now, most anywhere you go, virtual or not, you’ll find people sharing stories and information about giving blood through the American Red Cross.”

Those wishing to strengthen their Red Cross connections can start by visiting the humanitarian organization’s newly retooled Blood Services website. Links and portals provide easy navigation to various social networking and information sites, as well as to details on local blood drives and events.

“The Red Cross Blood Services website provides a place to access information and all our social networking tools,” said Whitman. “We encourage the public to connect with us online and build a virtual conversation about blood donation.”

Networking isn’t something new to the American Red Cross. Composed of 36 blood regions across the U.S., Red Cross Blood Services are well-versed in sharing resources and distributing blood from region to region and to areas of greatest need.

“Social media allows blood donors, sponsors and volunteers to connect with each other in a new way,” said Whitman. “After all, we are an organization for, by and about people.”

To check out the various information and social media sites available through the American Red Cross, check out, or join the conversation on Facebook at


Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. at Liberty Bible Church in the basement, 824 N. Calumet Ave., Chesterton. 

Monday, Aug. 23, 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. at Opportunity Enterprises in the Meeting Room, 2801 Evans Ave., Valparaiso.  Come to donate and receive an American Red Cross stadium seat cushion.   Call 464-9621, ext. 218 to schedule your blood donation appointment. 

Saturday, Aug. 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at Range Line Presbyterian Church, 18095 Clay St., Hebron.  Call 746-5719 to schedule your blood donation appointment.  This is a Power in the Blood interfaith initiative which aims to bring together groups of all beliefs to help the community maintain the supply of donated bloodCome to donate and receive a free lunch courtesy of Range Line Presbyterian Church.

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or visit for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

Te Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals.  In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.

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