Be an Everyday Hero by giving blood during Red Cross Month
ST. PAUL, Minn. — March is Red Cross Month, a time when the American Red Cross recognizes the Everyday Heroes who help save lives through blood and platelet donations. It’s also an opportunity to encourage others in local communities across the country to become regular donors with the Red Cross.
“Red Cross Month is an ideal time for people to show support for our mission,” said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the North Central Blood Services Region. “Anyone can become an Everyday Hero by giving blood or platelets, becoming a volunteer, making a financial donation or taking a class.”
March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since that time, every president, including President Barack Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The Red Cross has been helping people for more than 130 years.
The need for blood is constant. From cancer patients and accident victims to premature babies and those with blood disorders, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.
Angela Schema is an Everyday Hero who knows firsthand the importance of giving and receiving blood. As a member of the American Red Cross North Central Blood Services Region board of directors, she has an interest in recruiting new and returning donors. However, it’s her personal experience – and the lives she knows have been saved – that make her feel so strongly about blood donation.
As a baby, Schema was born with a very low platelet level and required several platelet transfusions in her first week of life to live. As a teenager, her husband also needed blood transfusions as a result of internal bleeding from torn stomach tissue. “Ultimately, if we both hadn’t received the blood products we needed early in our lives, our daughter wouldn’t be here either,” said Schema. “Our little family of three, and the people who know and love us, are extremely grateful for the generosity of Everyday Heroes who donate blood for patients in need.”
In addition to collecting and distributing about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in the U.S., providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. The organization also offers 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world – and trains more than 7 million people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills every year.
Last year in Minnesota, 276,032 units of blood and platelets were donated through the North Central Blood Services Region and the Northern and Southern Minnesota Regions responded to 576 local emergencies, assisted 2,344 military families and trained 104,126 people in lifesaving skills.
For blood donation opportunities near you, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.