In the case of blood donation, that one little act of rolling up your sleeve through your American Red Cross can make a big difference to someone in need. About one in 10 people entering the hospital need blood. And that need for blood is constant, every minute of every day.
“While the need for blood is always there, blood donors sometimes aren’t,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “Every day life can get in the way of making and keeping appointments, and before you know it, a donor might find it’s been a while since they last came to donate.”
The Red Cross is asking blood donors to leverage the power of the New Year and make a resolution to make and keep appointments to donate blood. And with January being National Blood Donor Month, the timing is perfect to renew or start a giving tradition.
Each year, the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region recognizes an Outstanding Blood Donor in each county. For Marshall County, James Russell donated 6 times last year and has donated a total of 145 units of blood throughout his lifetime.
January is a challenging time for blood donation because cold and snowy weather and busy post-holiday schedules can make it difficult for blood donors to keep appointments. Regardless of the time of year, hospital patients nationwide need about 44,000 blood donations daily for cancer care, surgeries, and the treatment of serious diseases and trauma.
The Red Cross encourages donors to make and keep appointments, both for convenience and to reinforce the feeling of commitment. Community members can also contribute to the blood supply by organizing or volunteering at a blood drive, or by suggesting blood donation to their family and friends.
“If volunteering in your community is on your list of resolutions, you can meet it by simply giving blood or recruiting others to give, too,” said Whitman. “Donating blood is a great way to make a lifetime of difference in just a little more than an hour’s worth of your time.”
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in Indiana and Ohio), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.