Red Cross to host 2nd annual “Battle of the Banks” amid blood shortage

The blood drive will take place at the Earl Bell Community Center in Jonesboro.
The blood drive will take place at the Earl Bell Community Center in Jonesboro.(KAIT)
Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 11:50 AM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - The Red Cross will host a unique blood drive in Jonesboro on Wednesday, Aug. 2. The organization hopes the second annual “Battle of the Banks” will address a dire need.

The Red Cross was “nearly 50,000 donations” short throughout May and June, and the trend continued throughout July in Northeast Arkansas. This grim statistic shows how vital blood donation events are, especially in the face of such a shortage.

Jerrica Fox is the account manager for the Red Cross in Northeast Arkansas. She said she is very concerned about these trends.

“We’re at risk of possibly not meeting those needs in August unless every single person we have for those goals shows up,” Fox said. “So we’re really relying on overproduction to save lives and provide for our hospitals.”

The “Battle of the Banks” blood drive is an incentive for banks, their employees, and their customers in Jonesboro to roll up their sleeves and give.

Area banks will be split into “small” (20 or fewer employees) and “large” (more than 20 employees) categories and will compete for a traveling trophy and those highly coveted bragging rights.

For donors, though, the rewards are a bit higher. All donors will receive a $10 gift card via email. Additionally, each donor will be entered to win a private shark dive in New York.

Realistically, though, as Fox pointed out, the true incentive is helping others in need in the community. You never know where that blood might go.

“Until it affects you, someone in your family, or someone you know or love, you don’t realize the importance of blood donation,” Fox said. “So if we take away our selfishness, and we put and think of others first, it could change someone’s life. And it could be yours or someone you know or someone you love.”

The blood drive will be held from noon until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Aug 2, at the Earl Bell Community Center, 1212 S. Church St. in Jonesboro. To sign up, go to