On Monday, Aug. 7, the American Red Cross will begin accepting donations from a host of newly eligible blood donors – including many in the LGBTQ+ community who’ve been ineligible until now.

That expanded eligibility is due to a change under the US Food and Drug Administration policy that expands recommendations for who can donate blood.  In honor of the event, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley will donate blood on that Monday as part of a press event calling attention to the change.

State Health Director and NCDHHS Chief Medical Officer Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, M.D., will also donate blood.  The two will also be available to speak with the press during the August 7 event.

The American Red Cross Blood Donation Event will take place from11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on August 7 at the Raleigh Red Cross Blood Donation Center at 100 N. Peartree Lane in Raleigh.

Kinsley and Tilson will donate blood at about 1:30 p.m.

Kinsley and Tilson along with other public health leaders in nine other states and the District of Columbia helped lead the call for FDA to change the policy.

Those who wish to donate blood Monday in Raleigh can register for the event at rdcrss.org/3sfzwf6and use sponsor code: DonateNC.

To find other dates and locations across the state, you can schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

According to a press release sent out this week by NCDHHS, “American Red Cross collects, processes and distributes about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, and with the constant need for donations, Secretary Kinsley and Dr. Tilson encourage all North Carolinians, and those newly eligible to donate, to be regular blood donors.”