February 16, 2022

The American Red Cross (ARC) is experiencing the worst blood shortage in more than a decade. ARC has issued its first ever “BLOOD CRISIS.”

Dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants. Donations are desperately needed.

In 1941, the American Red Cross initiated a national blood donations program to collect blood for U.S. armed forces; by 1945, the ARC blood service had collected more than 13 million pints of blood. In 1948, the American Red Cross launched the nation’s first blood program for civilians.

ARC, which supplies 40% of the nation’s blood supply, has had to limit blood product distributions to hospitals because of the current blood shortage. Given the crisis levels of blood stores, some hospitals may receive only 75% of blood products needed.

Blood facts:

5 million Americans will need a blood transfusion each year;

43,000 pints of donated blood are used each day in the U.S. and Canada;

Someone needs blood in the U.S. every two (2) seconds;

Approximately one in seven (7) people entering a hospital need blood;

One pint of blood can save up to three (3) lives.

“The American Legion Blood Donor Program has existed officially since 1942 to help that cause. Each year--especially since 9/11--Legionnaires have donated in spades, and departments have coordinated efforts at the post level.”

Holly Heatly, ALA Southern Division National Security Chair, writes, “There is love in our hearts…it’s time for us to stand up and roll up our sleeves.” You can donate individually or work with your post family, your community and/or your Girl and Boy Scouts to arrange a blood drive. For more information visit the following sites: