Give blood to Red Cross during National Volunteer Month

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood during National Volunteer Month this April. Donating blood is a simple way to make a profound difference in the lives of patients.

Nearly 2.8 million generous people donated blood through the Red Cross last year. The Red Cross salutes these volunteer blood donors who helped fulfill its lifesaving mission and invites others to roll up a sleeve and join them.

Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those in need of transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed this spring.BLOOD APP GRAPHIC 3

To make an appointment or for more information, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To learn more, visit and follow the instructions.

Here is a list of upcoming blood donation locations:

 Knob Noster: April 7, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Knob Noster High School, 504 S. Washington.
Lees Summit: April 2, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Eagle Creek Church, 1499 SW Market St.
April 4, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Heritage Biologics Inc., 255 NW Victoria Dr.
April 13, 7 a.m.-noon, MO Department of Transportation, 600 NE Cobern Rd.
 Kansas City: April 3, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Platte Community Center South, 8875 Clark Ave.
April 7, 2 p.m.-7 p.m., KCI CrossFit, 10601 NW Ambassador Dr., Suite G.
April 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., UMKC  School of Pharmacy, 2464 Charlotte St.

Leawood: April 1, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Sullivan’s Steakhouse, 4501 W. 119th St.
Lenexa: April 6, 8 a.m.-4 p.m., Kiewit, 9401 Renner Rd.
 Kansas City: April 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Prairie View at Village West, 11200 Delaware Parkway.
 Overland Park: April 3, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Genesis Health Clubs, 12075 Metcalf Ave.
April 3, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Lifetime Fitness OP, 6800 W. 138th St.
April 5, 3 p.m.-7 p.m., Valley View United Methodist Church, 8412 W. 95th St.
April 8, 8 a.m.-noon, Abdallah Shriners Hall, 5300 Metcalf Ave.
April 14, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Paul Mitchell School Overland Park, 8731 W. 95th St.

Since 1914, the American Red Cross has served the Greater Kansas City area by preventing and alleviating human suffering. The Red Cross provides blood products and specialized laboratory services to 15 hospitals in the Greater Kansas City area, including those within the St. Luke’s System and HCA Midwest Health.

The Red Cross is the only blood services provider that also offers health and safety training, serves as a vital communication link between military personnel and their families, teaches disaster preparedness, and provides relief to victims of disasters for our community.


Red Cross donors have various reasons for giving blood

By January Elizabeth
American Red Cross
 Everyone donates blood for their own reasons, but all for the same purpose of helping others and saving save lives. Approximately every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a transfusion, and donors are the only source of needed blood and platelets.

At a recent American Red Cross Blood Drive for employees of TVH Parts Co., in Olathe, Kan., there were many donors with stories about why they were eager to give. TVH is one of many companies that work with the Red Cross to set up blood drives in its Western Missouri Region.

An American Red Cross Blood Services technician prepares an employee at TVH Parts Co. in Olathe, Kan. to donate blood. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Recognizing the importance of blood donations, Lucy Delsarto organizes a blood drive at TVH three times a year. Lucy, who is also a blood donor, said the employees are passionate and faithful about donating blood.

Another employee, Pamela Semikashey, was celebrating her birthday by donating blood to the Red Cross. She said it’s especially important for her to give because she has a rare blood type and feels that those in need would have a harder time receiving blood without her donations.

The Red Cross collects, processes and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.blood graphic 1

Each day, the Red Cross needs to collect nearly 14,000 units of blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. The recipients may be accident victims, cancer patients, surgical candidates, or children with blood disorders.

While the Red Cross is grateful for the generosity of the donors, there remains a crucial demand that must be met.

“As the old saying goes, the need is always constant,” said Joe Zydlo, a Red Cross Blood Services spokesman. “We always are looking for new donors to help us with our lifesaving mission. I don’t think you can ever have too many.”

TVH employee Kim Deffenbaugh, a 20-year donor with an O-positive blood type, qualified to be a “Power Red Donor.”  Power Red is done with the help of an apheresis machine, which collects the red cells and returns most of the plasma and platelets back to the donor.

Red cells are the most transfused blood component, and certain blood types are often in short supply.  Power Red donors can safely give up two units of blood at a time, making their donation go further.

An employee at TVH Parts Co., in Olathe, Kan., is among many donating blood to the American Red Cross. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Maddysson Wood is 19 years old and started donating blood to the Red Cross while in high school. She continues to be a faithful donor and plans to be for life.

“I feel healthy and I want to help those who are not. It is a simple process and takes little time,” she said. “Why wouldn’t you donate?”

David Comb is a TVH employee and former law enforcement officer who has seen first-hand in both his personal and professional lives how blood donations save lives.

He became a blood donor three years ago, after a family member was in a critical accident, sustaining burns over 40 percent of his body and requiring 80 units of blood.  David said the experience prompted him and other family members to donate.

Donating blood to the Red Cross can take less than an hour from start to finish.

To make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Donors are encouraged to make appointments and complete the RapidPass online health history questionnaire at to save time when donating.

To view a video of blood donations at TVH go to

MARCs help those recovering from Missouri tornado damage

Multi-Agency Resource Centers, or MARC, were opened in Oak Grove and Smithville, two areas hardest hit by March 6 tornadoes in Western Missouri, to help residents in their recovery efforts.

At both locations, the MARC was coordinated by the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities.

A home near Smithville, Mo., received extensive damage when it was struck by a tornado on the evening of March 6. (Photos by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

At Oak Grove, the MARC was located at the First Baptist Church Youth Center and operated Friday and Saturday, March 10-11. The Smithville MARC was open Sunday, March 12, at the Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church.

Red Cross caseworkers were on hand to help people whose homes suffered tornado damage in the recovery process and connect them with partner agencies and other resources for assistance. Red Cross health services and mental health counselors also were on hand.

City governments at both locations assisted as did several partner agencies including the Salvation Army, Children’s Disaster Services, The Missouri Bar, Missouri Department of Insurance; Office of the Missouri Attorney General and Adventist Community Services.

American Red Cross caseworker talks to Smithville, Mo., resident whose home was damaged by the March 6 tornado.

Over the three days at both locations, some 150 people showed up to check on available assistance.

Red Cross disaster assessment teams conducted house-to-house surveys in the six counties impacted by tornadoes. The teams determined more than 900 homes were damaged by the storm with about three-fourths of them in Jackson and Clay counties.

To view a video about the MARC in Oak Grove, go to:

Multi-Agency Resource Center to open in Oak Grove after tornado

A Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) for those affected by the tornado that struck the Oak Grove, Mo.,  area will open at the First Baptist Church Youth Center, located across the street from the church at 400 SE 14th St.

The MARC will be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 10, and also from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, March 11.

Proof of address is required to receive available services and referrals. Child care will be available at the MARC for those seeking assistance.

Affected residents can request such services as debris removal, insurance and legal information, food stamp replacement, emergency financial assistance, health and wellness referrals.OAK4

People also can contact the Disaster Distress Helpline operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to talk to trained crisis counselors by calling 1-800-985-5990, or text the word “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

The MARC is being coordinated by the American Red Cross and its partner Catholic Charities along with the City of Oak Grove.

Red Cross caseworkers will be meeting with affected residents to help them in their recovery process and connect with other resources they might need.

A Volunteer Reception Center is operating at New Life, 801 SW 1st St. for those who want to assist in the recovery effort with such things as debris removal. For more information, contact United Way 2-1-1.

Those who would like to contribute to the Red Cross can go to, call 1-800-REDCROSS, or text the word “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. These donations help provide food, shelter, clean-up and relief supplies and emotional support for those affected by disasters.

Red Cross delivers clean-up supplies and food after Oak Grove tornado

By Carl Manning
American Red Cross
Red Cross volunteer Ed Belote arrived in the middle of the tornado damaged neighborhood in Oak Grove, MO  with a vehicle filled with clean-up supplies and dozens of sandwiches from a local grocery to hand out.

Within a few minutes, it became obvious to the 32-year Red Cross veteran from Liberty that folks were too busy salvaging what they could on Wednesday, March 8, to stop long enough to go to the Red Cross vehicle.

American Red Cross volunteer Ed Belote hands out sandwiches to people recovering from the tornado the struck Oak Grove, MO on Monday night, March 6. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

“Well, I guess we will go where the need is rather than waiting for them to come to us,” Ed said as he hefted a box filled with wrapped sandwiches and started down the debris littered street with the sounds of chainsaws in the background.

One of the first stops was the battered home where Ruth Grote was living when the tornado touched down in her neighborhood Monday night. Most of her roof was torn off and the interior was littered with pink insulation and objects strewn about.

At first,  the 89-year-old Ruth was reluctant to take a sandwich, but a smile and a few kind words from Ed had her laughing and soon admitting that maybe she could use something to eat.

Red Cross volunteer Ed Belote chats with Ruth Grote whose home was damaged by the tornado the struck Oak Grove, MO. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Sitting in the garage as friends and family helped collect her belongings, she recalled gripping the bathtub and watching a door fly past in the hallway.

“The Lord must have spared me for a good reason. He could have easily taken me,” she said between bites of her sandwich. “I really appreciate the Red Cross and everybody in the community coming out to help. It has been a real blessing.”

Ruth said she was staying with her son in nearby Grain Valley while waiting to settle with her insurance company before deciding where to go next.

After making sure there was nothing else Ruth needed, Ed moved to other houses where people were busy working. At one point, he toted his sandwich box past falling limbs to offer food to a group working, and for a few minutes they stopped and chatted about what happened.

Nearby, Red Cross volunteers in another vehicle were handing out rakes, shovels and gloves and asking those passing by if they needed anything. Some stopped to pick up a pair of gloves or a rake while others said they had what they needed but thanked the volunteers for being there.

Red Cross volunteers were in Oak Grove, MO handing out clean-up supplies for those recovering from the tornado. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

With his sandwich box empty, Ed returned to his vehicle to help other volunteers hand out such things as tarps, trash bags, coolers along with rakes and shovels.

A group of young men stopped by the Red Cross vehicle to pick up some rakes and shovels along with some trash bags and gloves, not for themselves but so they could go help their neighbors clean up.

For a video of the Red Cross at the damaged site, go to:




For Oak Grove residents, SAF can help contact military family members

If you were affected by the Oak Grove tornado and are having trouble reaching loved ones in the Armed Forces, the American Red Cross Services to Armed Forces can help. Call 877-272-7337 or download “Hero Care by American Red Cross” App on to access SAF services.hero1-graphic

Providing care and comfort to the members of our Armed Forces and their families was the founding service of the Red Cross. SAF is a mixture of both tradition and innovation. The Red Cross continues to provide support to military families, serve in military and veterans hospitals, and conduct emergency communication services.

Red Cross provides assistance in Oak Grove after tornado strikes

The American Red Cross is providing assistance for those affected by a tornado that struck parts of Oak Grove, MO, east of Kansas City, on Monday night, March 6. It opened a shelter at the Oak Grove Civic Center at 2100 South Broadway for those needing a place to stay, food or a place to charge their phones.

American Red Cross volunteers talk to residents of Oak Grove, MO whose homes were damaged by a tornado Monday night, March 6. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

On Tuesday, Red Cross disaster assessment teams were in the area to determine the extent and location of damage. Those assessments will help the organization determine how best to meet the needs of people in the community. Plans call for the Red Cross to start distributing clean up supplies on Wednesday.

Many homes were destroyed by the tornado and others were heavily damaged Friends and family members arrived Tuesday morning to start helping those whose homes were damaged to salvage what they could. Work crews also arrived to begin repairs on homes.

Friends and family members gather to help residents salvage what they could after a tornado struck their home in Oak Grove, MO. (Photo by Carl Manning/American Red Cross)

Anyone wanting to volunteer to help those affected by the storm are encouraged to call 2-1-1. The Red Cross is working with local partners to identify drop off locations for clothing, food and other donated supplies.

Those wanting to support the Red Cross are urged to make a financial donation contribution by going to or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.

To see a video of the damage, go to: