The American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage.

As an extra incentive and thanks to a $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is providing those who help overcome the shortage through Aug. 29 with a $5 gift card via email. Visit for more details.

To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, go to, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again, since blood can be safely given every 56 days.

Upcoming blood drives in Alexandria are as follows:

  • Monday, Aug. 19 and Tuesday, Aug. 20, from noon - 6 p.m., at Calvary Lutheran Church, 605 Douglas Ave.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21, from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., at Alexandria Senior Center, 414 Hawthorne St.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 27, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., at Cornerstone Church, 202 7th Ave. E.