Text and save a life: Red Cross announces mobile media program


redcrosslogoNASHVILLE-The next time you want to donate blood and need to find an American Red Cross blood drive near you, just reach for your mobile phone.  


The Red Cross Blood Services, South Central Division, announces the implementation of a mobile media program which allows donors to sign up for text alerts on blood inventory levels, receive educational information about blood donation, schedule a donation appointment or locate the nearest blood drive.


Donors may subscribe to Red Cross texting by sending redcross to 42227 or registering online at bloodisneeded.org.  


“Mobile technology is playing a powerful role in enhancing public health, and I applaud the Red Cross Blood Services South Central Division for deploying this innovative text messaging initiative,” says Steve Largent, President and CEO of CTIA-The Wireless Association, a trade group representing the U.S. wireless industry.  “This program will use mobile communications to provide donors with helpful information wherever they are and hopefully will increase their awareness and commitment to helping others through blood donations.” 


Once you sign up for this program, you will be able to make appointments via a click to call feature or locate a blood drive by entering a zip code.


“Providing a means of entry with text is very smart,” says David Spear, EVP Sales & Marketing of LSN Mobile. “By offering the texting option to donors, the Red Cross will deliver relevant content anywhere, anytime, on demand; nurturing a one-to-one relationship.”


With more than 160 million Americans sending text messages everyday, the Red Cross believes texting is an important tool for communicating with blood donors.  The South Central Division covers parts of eight states across the Midwest including Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Kansas.


“Our research has shown that texting crosses generational barriers,” says Darren Irby, Senior Marketing and Communications Director, American Red Cross South Central Division.  “While texting may have started with young people, we realize that even grandparents are texting today.”


How to donate blood:

Simply call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit bloodisneeded.org to make an appointment today. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors younger than 19. Visit bloodisneeded.org to learn more.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.