By Serena Jenkins, volunteer contributor, American Red Cross North Texas Region
Roll up your sleeve and give blood to save a life on World Blood Donor Day!
The American Red Cross and blood donation centers around the world are celebrating World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) today! Blood is a life-saving resource needed at hospitals to ensure that blood and blood products are available for patients in need. As the largest supplier of blood in the U.S., the American Red Cross provides approximately 40 percent of the U.S. blood supply!
What is World Blood Donor Day?
World Blood Donor Day is an official global public health campaign that celebrates donors for their voluntary, life-saving gift of helping others and brings awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products. Despite the critical need, less than 3 percent of eligible donors choose to give blood. World Blood Donor Day helps to encourage people to meet the critical need. June 14 also marks the birthday anniversary of Karl Landsteiner, a great scientist who won the Nobel Prize for his incredible discovery of the ABO blood group system.
Why is WBDD so important?
Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. Blood donors are unpaid volunteers who generously donate blood for a community supply. It is extremely important that people who are eligible to donate do so. WBDD is observed during the summer when donation numbers usually decline due to summer vacation plans and lack of school blood drives. Each day, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 units of blood to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, surgical candidates and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.
Why you should participate?
The Red Cross was among the first to develop and implement testing for infectious diseases, and are frequently the single major contributor to clinical trails that improve blood safety. However, the Red Cross cannot do this work alone. The generous support of volunteer blood donors is essential! to fill the blood need, the Red Cross relies on the nearly 60,000 organizations that sponsor 200,000 blood drives each year. Through these partnerships, the Red Cross helps provides the nation with a strong and robust blood supply.
How you can get involved and make a life-saving donation!
HOST A BLOOD DRIVE: Making a difference in your community has never been easier. If you’re planning a community event or fundraiser, consider hosting a blood drive with the help of the Red Cross. You’ll bring awareness to your community about the importance of donating blood, inspire new donors to give their blood to save lives, and make a difference in the lives of others. Inquire about hosting a blood drive at your office or in your community here.
GIVE BLOOD: After donating, many donors express a sense of satisfaction from knowing they made a difference. “I do it because I’m a human and think all humans should, it’s a free way to save someone’s life and affect change,” expressed Dallas blood donor, Leah Vaughn. Each donation can save up to 3 lives and the Red Cross is making it even easier to donate! Scheduling your appointment today on the free Red Cross ‘Blood Donor’ app or at redcrossblood.org.