January is National Blood Donor Month

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to save a life? It’s actually extremely easy to do: Just give blood. January is National Blood Donor Month for many reasons, but one major one is that after the holidays, blood donations drop off sharply. That means that the Red Cross and other organizations need all the help (and by help, we mean blood!) they can get.

There are many factors that contribute to this reduction in donations during January—busy schedules, kids off school for breaks, bad weather (we’re looking at you, East Coast), and of course, the flu and other illnesses. Do you know what doesn’t take time off? The need for blood, and with the extreme weather conditions across the country, a good blood supply is desperately in need.

In order to meet the needs of roughly 2,600 clinics, hospitals, and cancer centers across the country, the Red Cross needs to collect over 13,000 donations PER DAY. Do you see how easy it would be to contact your local Red Cross and find out how to donate blood?

Another good idea is to talk to someone in the HR department and/or someone on the executive team at work, and organize a blood drive within your own company. Encouraging the next generation to donate is a huge help to the Red Cross and those who need blood. Some people have a fear of needles, or don’t know how to go about donating blood, and by making it a work event, everyone is supported by people they know and trust.

It is estimated that 38 percent of the American population who are eligible to donate, but only about 10 percent do. There is always a great need for the rarer blood types, and some people don’t even know what blood type they are, let alone know that they could save someone’s life by providing that special type of blood.

Although there is no upper age limit, you do need to be 17 (16 in some states with parental consent), weigh at least 100 pounds, and generally be in good health to be eligible to donate blood.

So how do you do it? Schedule a donation today by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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