MERRILLVILLE | In honor of Black History Month and in the spirit of Dr. Charles Drew, an African-American surgeon who was the first medical director of the American Red Cross, eligible donors as diverse as the patients who need their blood donations are encouraged to give blood in February.

Blood from a donor with a similar ethnic background as that of the patient is less likely to cause complications, particularly for those patients whose chronic conditions require repeated transfusions.

With seasonal flu and inclement winter weather preventing many regular donors from giving, the Red Cross urges healthy, eligible donors to donate blood. All blood types are currently needed, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative.

To schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call (800) 733-2767.

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Upcoming donation opportunities:

  • Noon to 6 p.m. today at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 704 E. Grace St., Rensselaer.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Lowell Public Library, 1505 E. Commercial Ave., Lowell.
  • 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday at First Presbyterian Church, 218 S. Court St., Crown Point.
  • 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at Aperion Care, 10352 N. 600 East, DeMotte.
  • 1:30 to 6 p.m. Monday at VFW Post 717, 10400 W. 93rd Ave.,  St John.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 11 at Purdue Calumet Student Union Library, 2200 169th St., Hammond.
  • 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Holy Spirit Church, 7667 E. 109th Ave., Crown Point.
  • 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 12 at Purdue Calumet Student Union Library, 2200 169th St., Hammond.
  • 2 to 7 p.m. Feb. 12 at Elliott Elementary School, 8718 White Oak Ave., Munster.
  • 7:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 14 at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 334 15th St. SW, DeMotte.
  • 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 15 at Our Lady of Consolation Church, 8303 Taft St., Merrillville.

The Merrillville Donor Center, 791 E. 83rd Ave., is open from 12:30 to 5 p.m. every Monday and from 8 a.m. until noon the first and third Saturday of each month.

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