You can also be a volunteer blood donor! Donating blood may not be the first thing that springs to mind when one thinks about volunteering, yet this selfless act helps save the lives of children and adults in your community. Blood can’t be manufactured and can only be stored for a limited time, so hospitals rely on regular donors to meet ongoing supply needs.
As a blood donor, you’ll play a vital role in improving and maintaining the health of your community. From the moment you enter the blood drive or donation facility to the moment you leave, a whole blood donation only takes about an hour. You can donate every 56 days, or about six times per year. That makes it easy to fit in a busy student schedule or combine with other volunteer experience. If you are volunteering in another role for the Red Cross, such as by hosting a blood drive, having firsthand experience as a blood donor can help you connect with potential donors. Many colleges and employers recognize regular blood donation as volunteer service, so you can add it to your resume and LinkedIn page. And you can give yourself a pat on the back for doing good for others!
How to become a volunteer blood donor:
- Most states require that you be at least 17 years old to donate blood, but some allow 16-year-old individuals to donate with a signed parental consent form
- You’ll need to weigh at least 110 lbs. and be in good health
- All blood types are needed, but some such as type O negative are almost always in high demand (Don’t know your blood type? Make an appointment and find out!)