Blood donors needed for 2019 Boots & Badges Drive

Contributed by Maya Franklin, American Red Cross

The Columbia Police Department, Columbia Fire Department and Richland County Sheriff’s Department are challenging each other — and the community — to give blood at the eighth annual “Boots and Badges” blood drive on May 24, 2019.

Boots and Badges is a friendly competition that pits the police officers, firefighters and sheriff’s deputies against each other to find out which department can donate more pints. Friends, family and community supporters are also urged to give blood and vote for their favorite team. ­

Donors can give blood and vote for their favorite team at two locations in Columbia:

Decker Center, 2500 Decker Boulevard and Charles Drew Wellness Center, 2101 Walker Solomon Way.

All presenting donors at the Boots and Badges blood drive will receive a free Red T-shirt and a $10 Visa gift card courtesy of Suburban Propane, while supplies last.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at or use the Blood Donor App.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.