It’s the Great Red Cross Blood Drive, Charlie Brown.
People who donate blood at American Red Cross blood donation sites through April 23 will receive a T-shirt featuring Snoopy donning sunglasses and leaning against the organization’s iconic logo.
Underneath him is the text “Be cool. Give blood.”
“The Peanuts gang is loved by all because they’re friends who take care of each other, and they make us want to do the same. It feels good when we help someone else, and it makes them feel good in return,” the American Red Cross said on the campaign’s webpage.
While the partnership may seem simple in concept, the reception has been overwhelming due to the viral popularity of the nostalgic merch on TikTok. The organic, if not unexpected, popularity of the shirts even resulted in a feature story in The New York Times’ style section about the effort.
Capitalizing on TikTok’s role in the campaign, the American Red Cross has also teamed up with some influencers on the platform to boost the number of donations for April.
In addition to the much sought-after Snoopy swag, donors are automatically entered into a chance to win $1,000 as well as flights and accommodations for a three-night trip to Sonoma County, California to enjoy a special tour of the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Snoopy’s Home Ice.
The campaign serves as a reminder that the U.S. blood supply faces a severe shortage that only worsened throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
The American Red Cross estimates that 29,000 units of red blood cells, 5,000 units of platelets and 6,500 units of plasma are needed every day.
Going forward, there might be greater flexibility on the way when it comes to loosening blood donor eligibility guidelines.
The Food and Drug Administration announced in late January that it proposed changes to eliminate time-based deferrals for men who have sex with men (MSM) and women who have sex with MSM. For years, the American Red Cross and other organizations advocated for the FDA to revise the policy to be more inclusive.