February is Black History Month.
It’s a time to honor the significant contributions and legacies of African Americans but also the perfect opportunity to give back to the community.
Take Mary McLeod Bethune, as an example, who became the first African American to lead a federal agency. As an advisor to President Franklin Roosevelt, she attended American Red Cross wartime conferences to discuss African American representation within the organization. She was instrumental in establishing a relationship between the Red Cross and the African American community. And speaking of the community, here are four major ways you can help us give back to Black and African American communities this month:
1) Donate blood: A single blood donation can help save more than one life. Make an appointment to give blood and help ensure the right blood product is available at the right time for patients in need.
2) Spread awareness: Today, blood donors who are Black make up less than 4% of Red Cross blood donors, making it difficult to ensure the right blood product is available at the right time. Patients need the best match possible when it comes to blood products, and that means donations that come from donors of similar backgrounds. Diverse donors are needed to meet all patients' needs, like those with sickle cell disease. Maximize your impact by inviting your family and friends to come donate blood with you.
3) Take control of your health: The Red Cross provides vital health insights to help aid in awareness, prevention, early detection and monitoring for better health outcomes of all racial and ethnic groups. Prior to donating blood, you will receive a FREE health screening to check temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate and more!
4) Support Black-owned businesses: Come to give blood Feb. 1-28 and you’ll receive a $10 Amazon.com Gift Card** via email, thanks to our partners at Amazon.* Use your gift to discover and support Black-owned businesses on Amazon during Black History Month!