Help prevent summer blood shortages with donations in Sumter

Upcoming drives in Sumter, Camden


A few letters may not seem like a big deal in the grand scheme of an essay or news article, but when certain letters are missing from a blood bank or hospital, they are the difference between life and death.

The American Red Cross is urging people to donate all blood types this summer to help prevent delays in medical care when patients need A, B, O and AB blood types.

To draw attention that blood types sometimes do go missing during a shortage of donations to hospital shelves, those three letters began disappearing one June 11 from iconic brand logos, social media pages, signs and websites as part of the Missing Types campaign, which is raising awareness of the need for more donors.

Thousands of blood donors have answered the call to fill the missing types, but more donors are needed to help ensure patients don't have to wait for blood products. During the summer, especially around holidays like Independence Day, donations often don't keep pace with patient needs. The Red Cross is thanking all those who come to donate July 1-6 with an exclusive Red Cross Missing Types T-shirt, while supplies last.

Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification 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 have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Upcoming blood donation drives in the area


Sunday, July 7: 1-6 p.m., Historic Ebenezer Church, 105 Dinkins St.


Saturday, June 29: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Chick-Fil-A, 2211 W. Dekalb St.

Wednesday, July 3: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Heritage Community Bank, 2220 W. Dekalb St.

Sunday, July 14: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, 1709 Lyttleton St.


Thursday, June 27: 2-7 p.m., Grace Baptist Church, 219 W. Calhoun St.

Friday, June 28: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Sumter Fire Department, 315 N. Lafayette Drive

Monday, July 1: 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., YMCA, 510 Miller Road

Saturday, July 6: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Jehovah Missionary Baptist Church Family Center, 803 S. Harvin St.

Thursday, July 11: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Central Carolina Technical College, 506 N. Guignard Drive