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Goal for April 26 Glencoe blood drive is 122 units

To the Editor:
The first Glencoe Community Blood Drive of 2017 is scheduled for Wednesday, April 26, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Glencoe City Center Ballroom. The American Red Cross (ARC) has set our goal at 122 units for this blood drive.
As you read this, it will be only two weeks until the blood drive.  Many slots on the donor schedule have already been reserved following last November’s blood drive. The volunteer callers are in the process of contacting donors to set up appointments to fill the remainder of the schedule. Please respond positively if you are called. If you make or already have an appointment, please keep your appointment. If you were not called and want to donate, please call our Scheduling Coordinator Nelda Klaustermeier at 320-864-3475 to see if there are still any openings.
Walk-ins are welcome, but know that scheduled appointments always have priority and you may wait quite awhile. Don’t plan to “walk-in” during the first two hours of the drive, as the time slots are filled to capacity.  Your best chance would be after 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.  Appointments are still always the best option.
In 2015, the ARC introduced RapidPass, a way for blood donors to complete their pre-reading and donation questions online from the comfort and privacy of their home or office. RapidPass is only used to complete the pre-reading and pre-donation questionnaire in advance of your appointment; it does not take the place of scheduling an appointment. American Red Cross expects to reduce the time donors with a RapidPass spend at blood drives by up to 15 minutes by speeding up the check-in process.
There are some important things to know!
• RapidPass cannot be completed prior to the date of the drive.
• Donors must complete the steps to redeem their pass on the day they donate April 26.
• Donors who do not bring the printed pass with them to their donation or cannot show it on their mobile device will be asked to complete all the questions again.
To use RapidPass, participating donors should follow these steps:
• Visit redcrossblood.org/rapid
• Read the information.
• Answer the questions.
• Print the RapidPass or email the PDF to themselves so that it shows on their mobile device when they come to donate.
If you do decide not to use the RapidPass online tool, you will be following the usual procedure of completing the required paperwork and questionnaire at the blood drive.
Blood is a perishable product; red blood cells have a shelf life of only 42 days and platelets just five days, so they must be replenished constantly — there is no substitute.  Blood and platelets can only come from generous volunteer donors like you. Your one donated unit has the potential to help or save up to three patients. Every unit counts!
We hope this information is helpful to you. Thank you for taking your time to donate your gift of life and helping us meet our goal.
Charleen Engelmann
Glencoe Community
Blood Drive