National Blood Donor Month

America was founded on the spirit of giving – and giving back. It is in that spirit that we acknowledge and support National Blood Donor Month. The American Red Cross created National Blood Donor Month to increase blood donations and setting that month for the month of January was no accident. 

Under normal circumstances, blood donations in the winter months decrease as colder temperatures and the flu season deter people from donating blood. This year, the need for blood donations is more urgent than ever. Although it may feel like the world has stopped, the need for blood donations has definitely not. 

 

Lifeline

The fact of the matter is that with all we’ve experienced the past year, blood donations have taken on an even greater significance this year. With hospital patient numbers continuing to rise, a more desperate need for blood donations has surfaced. 

There are certain facts that most of us are unaware of when it comes to the huge impact donating blood can have:

  • 1 donation can potentially save 3 lives 
  • Every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood 
  • More than 38,000 blood donations are needed everyday
  • Type O is the most requested blood type in hospitals 

Donating blood can help people in need of surgery, treatment, or who are suffering from various diseases. For instance, according to the latest data from the CDC, 40,000 patients have received life-saving plasma treatment for COVID-19. The reason? If you’ve recovered from COVID your blood has antibodies that may help those currently combating with the virus. 

 

Is It Safe To Donate Blood?

The American Red Cross is taking the necessary safety measures to ensure that everything from the space to the staff is all up to code and safe for blood donors. A face mask is required and temperature checks occur prior to entering the donation center for both donors and staff. The donation beds adhere to the six feet apart distancing guidelines and are sanitized after each use.

Prior to donating blood, you must first meet the general criteria:

  • You’re healthy (exhibiting no symptoms of any illness)
  • If you’ve recovered from COVID-19, inform staff immediately
  • You’ve passed all the standard requirements for donating blood 
  • You must be at least 17 years old and weigh 110lbs or over 

For a more detailed eligibility/blood donor criteria refer to the American Red Cross

 

Sign Me Up!

A multitude of ways to help in your community exist. After visiting the American Red Cross website and signing up, you can utilize their mobile application for a more streamlined and traffic-limiting appointment process. 

Getting involved in your community and inspiring others with your willingness to help those in need will only strengthen your footing within your community. Well-placed yard signs and posters can help inspire others to follow in your footsteps.

Whether you own a business or are an employee, you can help organize a blood drive with your staff/ownership group. Use social media to spread the word, document your team donating blood, and perhaps a banner across your physical location can help spur community participation.

Whether you’re donating blood or hosting a blood drive at your place of business, giving a helping hand is always appreciated. 

The Host with The Most

If you’re hosting a Red Cross Event, in addition to the American Red Cross’s safety protocols it’s a good idea to implement some of your own to increase overall safety at your blood drive. Consider partitions and dividers, sanitizers, and social distancing signs for an added level of safety. 

As a Host you’re expected to provide: 

  • A Location (preferably a big open space) 
  • Volunteers 
  • Donors 

How the Red Cross will assist you:

  • Planning Assistance 
  • Recruitment Tools 
  • Equipment and Supplies 
  • Trained Staff

Utilizing banners, signage and social media to promote your blood drive and signal customers can help in your recruiting efforts. Anything that can make the process run smoother and safer is welcomed and will in turn encourage more volunteers/donors.

Giving Back

If hosting or donating blood isn’t an option, find other ways to give back to those who donate. A small financial donation or incentivizing people to donate through discounts or freebies at your establishment can still provide a service to your community. It’s a wonderful way to show your support. People want their favorite businesses to be there for them and the community, so incentivizing people to donate their blood can help make you a more integral part of the fabric of their lives.

 

Resources

American Red Cross
Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
Why Host A Blood Drive 

Red Cross Blood Donation Safety Protocols 

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