Leave Your Mark at the 5th annual Bluebird Tattoo Red Cross blood drive

Leave Your Mark at the 5th annual Bluebird Tattoo Red Cross blood drive
By: American Red Cross Last Updated: April 30, 2019

For the 5th year in a row, the community is invited to make a difference at the annual Leave Your Mark American Red Cross blood drive with Bluebird Tattoo being held Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Portage.

In 2015, Bluebird Tattoo owner Drew Thomas came up with the idea of hosting a blood drive to help debunk the common myth that you can’t donate blood if you have a tattoo or recently received a tattoo. This is the fifth year of the annual blood drive. The first four drives resulted in 115 total donations being given.

“I hear lots of people saying they won’t be able to give blood after getting their tattoo,” said Thomas. “People don’t realize that the tattoo rules for blood donation changed years ago. I want to help debunk that myth.”

In addition to hosting the Red Cross blood drive, Thomas is also a blood donor himself. “People who get tattoos have shown they are brave enough to deal with a needle,” said Thomas. “Giving blood is a piece of cake after that! Blood donation is not a painful process, and at the end you know you are helping someone in need. Nothing to be afraid of!”

Your eligibility to donate blood is not affected by your recently received tattoo if it was applied at a state-regulated entity using sterile needles. Most states currently regulate tattoo facilities, including Indiana. If your tattoo was applied by a facility that is not state regulated, then wait 12 months after your tattoo was applied before giving blood.

“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Trish Cochran, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be there at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors.”

The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,500 hospitals nationwide. In Indiana alone, the Red Cross needs about 450 donors each day to support patients at 80 hospitals across the state. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed to help those rely on blood products. 

For the 5th year in a row, the community is invited to make a difference at the annual Leave Your Mark American Red Cross blood drive with Bluebird Tattoo being held Saturday, May 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Portage.

In 2015, Bluebird Tattoo owner Drew Thomas came up with the idea of hosting a blood drive to help debunk the common myth that you can’t donate blood if you have a tattoo or recently received a tattoo. This is the fifth year of the annual blood drive. The first four drives resulted in 115 total donations being given.

“I hear lots of people saying they won’t be able to give blood after getting their tattoo,” said Thomas. “People don’t realize that the tattoo rules for blood donation changed years ago. I want to help debunk that myth.”

In addition to hosting the Red Cross blood drive, Thomas is also a blood donor himself. “People who get tattoos have shown they are brave enough to deal with a needle,” said Thomas. “Giving blood is a piece of cake after that! Blood donation is not a painful process, and at the end you know you are helping someone in need. Nothing to be afraid of!”

Your eligibility to donate blood is not affected by your recently received tattoo if it was applied at a state-regulated entity using sterile needles. Most states currently regulate tattoo facilities, including Indiana. If your tattoo was applied by a facility that is not state regulated, then wait 12 months after your tattoo was applied before giving blood.

“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Trish Cochran, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be there at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors.”

The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,500 hospitals nationwide. In Indiana alone, the Red Cross needs about 450 donors each day to support patients at 80 hospitals across the state. Donors of all blood types, especially type O, are needed to help those rely on blood products.

All those who come to donate with the Red Cross now through June 10 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card by email.

How to help
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Blood and platelet donors can 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, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.