GREENSBORO, N.C. — The American Red Cross and the National Football League are teaming up during January, National Blood Donor Month, to score big for patients in need by encouraging football fans and blood donors to give now. Right now, the Red Cross is facing a critical need for all blood types, especially type O, after the busy holiday season. Those who present to donate blood or platelets Jan. 1-19 will be entered automatically for a chance for two to experience Super Bowl LIV live in Miami, Florida. 

Individuals can schedule an appointment to give blood with the American Red Cross by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or activating the Blood Scheduling Skill for Amazon Alexa.

"The winter is historically a challenging time to collect blood with the holidays, winter weather and flu—and unfortunately this year is no different," said Chris Hrouda, president of American Red Cross Biomedical Services. "That is why we are so excited to team up with the NFL to help motivate and thank donors who come in and roll up a sleeve so that patients have access to the lifesaving treatment they need in the weeks to come."

Currently, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of type O blood. Having enough type O blood on the shelves is important for ongoing patient care and emergencies. Type O positive is the most transfused blood type and can be transfused to Rh-positive patients of any blood type. Type O negative is the universal blood type and what emergency room personnel reach for when there is no time to determine the blood type of patients in the most serious situations.

NFL Helps the Red Cross Keep Patients off the Sideline:

The Red Cross and NFL have a long history of working together to help keep patients off the sidelines and in the game. Over the past decade, NFL teams across the country have helped to collect thousands of lifesaving blood donations.

"At the NFL we are proud of the role we play in helping to unify communities and inspire people to make a positive and meaningful impact on those around them," said Alexia Gallagher, vice president of philanthropy & executive director of NFL Foundation. "That's why we are excited to be teaming up with the American Red Cross this January to help tackle the critical need for blood donations by encouraging football fans from across the country to give now to help patients."

In addition to helping patients in need, the NFL, teams, players associations and fans give generously to the Red Cross during times of disaster. In recent years, the NFL has supported our responses following Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence, Michael, and Dorian, and the California wildfires.

Start 2020 off with a Generous Act:

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Start the new decade off with a generous act—and help ensure blood, especially type O, is available for ongoing patient care and emergencies across the country. A blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes.

Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.