OAKLAND (KCBS RADIO) – The American Red Cross is encouraging blood donations with a very enticing reward.
Anyone who donates blood at any Red Cross location throughout the country during August will be entered to win up to $6,000 worth of free gasoline for a year. Three winners will be chosen.
The contest is an effort to entice more people to roll up their sleeves with donations down this summer.
"We just had a 20% decrease in our blood donations and platelet donation supply, so we're just reaching everybody that has the potential to do a life changing act," Martin Gagliano, an Oakland-based spokesperson for the Red Cross, told KCBS Radio.
According to Gaglioano, 62% of Americans are eligible to donate but just 3% end up doing so.
In addition, the gas incentive program comes in the wake of fuel prices soaring nationwide, though they have dipped in recent weeks.
Ellen Jost, an in-home occupational therapist, said she returned to donating blood on a regular basis during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether at her job or on her own time. "Because of all of the hospitalizations there was a blood shortage and especially with children it was just something easy that I could do," she told KCBS Radio at a Red Cross blood drive in Oakland. "A way that I can help."
All donors receive a $10 electronic gift card of their choice. Gagliano said that O-negative and platelet donors are especially needed.
There are plenty of blood drives this month at locations across the Bay Area all this month. More information is available at the Red Cross website.