Emergency blood shortage: Red Cross offers $5 Amazon gift card for donations

Type O negative red blood cells are kept in a storage refrigerator. Photo by Sanford Myers/American Red Cross
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -- The American Red Cross is offering blood or platelet donors an Amazon gift card to address an emergency blood shortage.

Currently the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types. It has less than a two-day supply of Type O blood.

With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help alleviate the blood shortage by donating July 29 through August 29 with a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email.

People can schedule an appointment to give now by activating Amazon’s Alexa Red Cross Blood Skill by saying, “Alexa, find a blood drive,” or by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

According to the Red Cross the need for blood is constant. In the United States every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.