News Release

The Church of Jesus Christ Gives US$5.1 Million to the American Red Cross

Part of the donation will boost the organization’s sickle cell initiative

A new gift from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will help the American Red Cross better carry out its mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

The Church of Jesus Christ is giving the American Red Cross US$5.1 million to help it meet blood and convalescent plasma needs for hospital patients. These include new machines and the collection and maintenance of blood platelets. The gift will also be a boon for the organization’s sickle cell initiative. Sickle cell disease distorts soft and round red blood cells and turns them to hard, crescent-shaped cells. This can lead to extreme pain and serious health challenges. The project, launched in September 2021, aims to reach more blood donors who are Black because the majority of those with sickle cell are of African descent. Blood donations from Black people are critical to help those who suffer from sickle cell disease.

“As an organization dedicated to alleviating suffering, the Red Cross is committed to the health and well-being of all communities, and a diverse blood supply is critical to improving health outcomes for all patients — especially those with sickle cell disease,” said Gail McGovern, CEO and president of the Red Cross. “We greatly appreciate the Church’s extremely generous donation and continued partnership in support of our lifesaving mission.”

Visit to schedule a blood donation appointment

People with sickle cell disease may need frequent blood transfusions throughout their lifetime — requiring as many as 100 units of blood each year — to treat complications of the disease. Unfortunately, frequent transfusions can make it difficult to find compatible blood types if patients develop an immune response against blood that is not closely matched to theirs.

“A closely matched blood product is critical for patients with sickle cell disease,” explained Dr. Yvette Miller, executive medical director at the Red Cross. “Many individuals of African descent have distinct markers or structures on their red blood cells that make their donations the most compatible blood to help patients with sickle cell disease. While most patients can receive blood from a donor of any race or ethnic group, due to the presence of some unique red blood cells antigens shared by people of African descent, donations from individuals who are Black are more likely to provide better health outcomes for those fighting sickle cell disease.”

“We’re pleased to contribute over $5 million this year, but our most important contribution comes from our Church members — thousands of them — who have literally rolled up their sleeves to give blood and donate so much of their time,” said Gérald Caussé, Presiding Bishop of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Church of Jesus Christ and the American Red Cross have a longstanding association that dates to the late 19th century.

The Red Cross asks members of the Black community to help them meet the needs of patients with sickle cell disease and other medical conditions to improve health outcomes. This can be done by scheduling a blood donation appointment, downloading the Blood Donor App or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.

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