SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (The Daily Dish) – The American Red Cross is recognizing the millions of volunteer donors who give blood, platelets, and plasma throughout the year during National Volunteer Month this April. The Red Cross collects over 5 million blood and platelet donations each year from more than 2.3 million volunteer donors, with no substitute for blood and no way to manufacture it, making donors essential for hospital patients in need of transfusions.

The Red Cross relies on volunteer donors to collect about 12,000 blood donations and nearly 3,000 platelet donations daily. As blood products have a limited shelf life, making and keeping donation appointments this month is crucial to keeping shelves fully stocked with blood and platelets all season long.

This month is also National Minority Health Month, aimed at raising awareness of health disparities that disproportionately affect racially and ethnically diverse populations. Lack of access to quality care is a driving factor for underserved communities, and blood transfusions remain one of the most critical treatments for patients with chronic illnesses, pregnancy, and childbirth complications.

To encourage eligible donors to give blood, the Red Cross and PEANUTS® are partnering to remind people that it’s cool to be kind and help save lives. All donors who come to give blood between April 1-23 will receive an exclusive Red Cross and PEANUTS T-shirt featuring Snoopy as the coolest beagle in town, Joe Cool, while supplies last. Donors who come between April 1-30 will also be automatically entered for a chance to win a three-night trip for two to Sonoma County, California, including flights, hotel, a $1,000 gift card, and special tours of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy’s Home Ice, courtesy of Peanuts Worldwide.

Don’t wait for a crisis to donate blood or platelets. Book an appointment by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or using the Red Cross Blood Donor App. Every donor can help ensure access to lifesaving care for patients in need.