PORTLAND, Ore. -

The American Red Cross is hosting its annual Celebrate Freedom Blood Drive on the Fourth of July at participating blood centers in Oregon and Washington. All presenting blood donors will receive a free T-shirt and a whole apple pie (while supplies last).

Celebrate Freedom - one of the most popular drives of the year - helps to bolster the community blood supply during a time of year when it can be difficult to collect blood. Many families are on vacation during the summertime or busy with Fourth of July barbecues and parties. This event encourages people to make time to donate blood and gives the Red Cross an opportunity to "thank" donors for supporting patients in need throughout the year.

WHO: American Red Cross and local blood donors

WHAT: Celebrate Freedom Blood Drive

WHEN: July 4, 2014

WHERE: Participating Red Cross blood centers include Bend, Medford, Portland, Richland, Roseburg, Salem, Vancouver and Yakima.

MEDIA: For more information, please contact Jared Schultzman at (503) 407-3642
or jared.schultzman@redcross.org.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.