Red Cross in ‘critical need’ of blood donations, offers donors chance to win Super Bowl trip

The American Red Cross said it has a “critical need” for donors of all blood types after fewer blood drives were held over the holidays — and has teamed up with the NFL to encourage more donations and offer a chance to win a trip to Super Bowl LIV.

During the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s Day, about 500 fewer blood drives were hosted by volunteer groups than required to meet patient needs, the organization said. Many blood drives are postponed during this time when travel and holiday gatherings make it challenging to find time for blood donation.

Specifically, the American Red Cross said it had less than a three-day supply of type O blood.

A file image dated Jan. 16, 2003 shows a donor giving blood in Glenview, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

As a result, the organization partnered with the NFL to offer one person two tickets to Super Bowl LIV in Miami on Feb. 2 and more. Those who give blood or platelets between Jan. 1 through Jan. 19 will be automatically entered for a chance to win.

In addition to tickets to the big game, the lucky winner will also receive entry to the official NFL Tailgate, tickets to the Super Bowl Experience at the Miami Beach Convention Center, round trip airfare to Miami, a three-night stay at The Alexander - All Suite Oceanfront Resort and a $500 gift card for expenses. Additional details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/SuperBowl.

“Lifesaving medical treatments and emergencies never take a holiday,” said Paul Sullivan, Red Cross Biomedical Services’ senior vice president. “Declines in donations can affect patient care. That’s why the Red Cross is encouraging eligible donors to make an appointment to give now and help those sidelined by illness and trauma.”

Donors were urged to make an appointment by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors who are 17 years of age in most states, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood, the Red Cross said.

“The Red Cross appreciates the NFL’s support during this crucial time of year when every donation – and every donor – matters,” Sullivan said.

“We hope this may inspire some to make regular blood and platelet donation one of their New Year’s resolutions.”

RELATED: Guns N’ Roses, Maroon 5, DJ Khaled and DaBaby part of pre-Super Bowl shows

This story was reported from Cincinnati.