Facebook launches tool for blood bank donations

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Facebook rolled out its new Blood Donations feature in select U.S. cities June 11 to help people locate blood banks in need of donors.

Cities that have access to the tool are Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The social media platform plans to launch the feature nationwide in the next few months, and is currently working with partners including America's Blood Centers, Falls Church, Va.-based Inova Health System and Stanford Blood Center.

To use the feature, individuals must sign up to be a blood donor on Facebook by searching for "blood donations." If a blood donation center needs donors, it can request donations by sending notifications to nearby Facebook users who have signed up.

"By encouraging blood donation as a way of life, each of us can assure that the more than 30,000 pints of blood used daily throughout the country is available." America's Blood Centers CEO Kate Fry said in a news release.

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