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American Red Cross celebrates Black History Month

 African Americans play an important role in American Red Cross history. After the Civil War, Clara Barton, the founder of the American Red Cross, sat around a dinner table with famed abolitionist Frederick Douglass and talked about establishing a Red Cross Association in the United States. Mr. Douglass supported Miss Barton's efforts and continued to support the work of the Red Cross after it was founded in 1881.
 
In the 20th century, Charles Drew, M.D., was recognized as one of America's foremost physicians and as a pioneer in blood collection and plasma processing. During World War II, Dr. Drew helped form a blood bank to aid wounded soldiers on the battlefield. The Red Cross received millions of blood donations during the war that helped save thousands of U.S. servicemen.
 
Today, African Americans contribute to the success of the Red Cross in many ways, including regular blood and platelet donation. More than half of African Americans in the United States have type O blood. Type O blood is the blood type most requested by hospitals. Type O negative blood is called the universal donor because it can be given to a patient of any blood type during an emergency.
 
The Red Cross invites you to honor the past and give to the future by donating blood. You can celebrate Black history month in February and throughout the year by donating blood regularly.
 
Locally, you may give blood on the following dates:
 
Feb. 1, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at Leonard Missionary Baptist Church, 1100 Compton Ave., St. Louis, MO
 
Feb. 2, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at Lewis & Clark Community College, McPike Complex, 5800 Godfrey Road, Godfrey, IL (Sponsored by the Black Student Association)
 
Feb. 3, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at St. Louis Police Department - North Patrol, 4014 Union, St. Louis, MO
 
Feb. 5, 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. at Central Baptist Church, 2845 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, MO
 
Feb. 6, 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. at Harris Stowe State University - Business School, 5707 Wilson Ave., St. Louis, MO
 
Feb. 8, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at Greater Rising Star Church, 1819 Prairie Ave., St. Louis, MO
 
Feb. 18, 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Boy Scouts of America - Grand Towers District, Union Station, 1820 Market St., St. Louis, MO
 
Feb. 28, 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., McCluer South - Berkeley High School, 201 Brotherton, St. Louis, MO
 
How to Donate Blood:
Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information or to make an appointment. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger.
 
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