The American Red Cross of the Pacific Coast has received a grant for $10,000 from the Bayer Fund, which will be used to support blood drives throughout Ventura County.
“Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood,” Tony Briggs, Central California Region chief executive officer and Pacific Coast Chapter executive director. “To have a partner like Bayer Fund recognize the importance of a strong blood supply is more important now than ever. We know that the need for blood is urgent, and there is simply no substitute. Because of Bayer Fund’s generous grant, together we will be able to make an impact in the lives of cancer patients, trauma victims and anyone who relies on lifesaving blood and plasma.”
The American Red Cross nationally supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood supply—more than any other blood collection agency in the U.S.
“Throughout the years, the grants given through Bayer Fund have helped strengthen our communities across the United States,” said Al Mitchell, President of Bayer Fund. “We’re proud to be able to provide support to develop programs that help combat challenges such as food insecurity, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education and support services to patients and families managing an illness or disease.”
The Red Cross is experiencing a severe blood shortage as the number of trauma cases, organ transplants and elective surgeries rise– and deplete the nation’s blood inventory. Over the last three months, the Red Cross has distributed about 75,000 more blood products than expected to meet these needs. As a result of the blood shortage, some hospitals are being forced to slow the pace of elective surgeries until the blood supply stabilizes, delaying crucial patient care.
In addition, while summer is traditionally a time when blood donations decline, this year is particularly challenging as many Americans receive their vaccinations and resume summer activities after more than a year of limited interactions and travel, leading to lower donor turnout.
Patients need the help of the American people. Schedule an appointment to give blood now by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.
“Bayer is proud to partner with the American Red Cross to ensure everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products,” says Hannah Wirz, Vice President, North America Vegetable Seeds Product Supply for Bayer and Board Chair of American Red Cross Pacific Coast Chapter. “Now more than ever, we are proud to work with Red Cross, to help ensure blood is available whenever and wherever it is needed.”
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
In 2020, Bayer Fund awarded more than $17 million to over 3,400 charitable and nonprofit organizations to help address essential needs in food and nutrition, STEM education and community development. Over the last five years, nonprofit organizations across the U.S. have received more than $80 million.
About the American Red Cross Central California Region
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission.The American Red Cross Central California Region provides services to 11 counties across Central California that is home to more than 4 million people. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/centralcalifornia.
About Bayer Fund
Bayer Fund, a philanthropic arm of Bayer, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening the communities where Bayer customers and employees live and work by providing funding for food and nutrition, education and community development projects.