MOUNT VERNON — The American Red Cross is once again teaming up with the family of Josh Melton to host a blood drive in his memory Friday, Sept. 3, from noon to 5 p.m. at Waltonville High School, 802 W. Knob St., in Waltonville.

Josh was 20 years old when he died in Jan. 2019 from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident. He loved hunting, fishing, and helping others, including volunteering with the Jefferson County and Waltonville Fire Departments. Josh was also a regular blood donor, honoring his late grandmother, who needed blood transfusions in her fight against bone marrow cancer.

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Josh never met a stranger and would do whatever he could to help others,” said Stephanie Melton, Josh’s mother. “We could not think of a better way to remember his life than by hosting this blood drive at his high school. We invite the entire community to donate in Josh’s memory as a way of helping others in need of blood.”

The American Red Cross continues to have an ongoing, critical need for lifesaving blood this summer as blood product distributions to hospitals remain higher than anticipated. In recent months, the Red Cross has sent 12% more blood products to hospitals to help patients in need, including higher distributions to hospitals in areas where the pandemic continues to disrupt normal blood collection operations. As summer vacations end and people return to regular routines, the Red Cross encourages eligible donors to make an appointment to give now.

There is no substitute for donated blood products. Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact.

How to donate blood

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Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) and enter/mention sponsor code JOSHUA, or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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.

Blood drive safety

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions - masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are?asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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.

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