Every person has their own holiday traditions. Whether they’re passed down through family, adopted from friends or ones you’ve created all on your own, there’s comfort and joy found in these seasonal customs.
This year, the American Red Cross is encouraging you to shake up those holiday traditions by scheduling to donate blood, platelets, or plasma.
Make donating your new holiday habit and invite those you love to join you! Blood, platelets and plasma are always needed, and your lifesaving gift could have a very big impact.
Why Giving Blood Matters
There’s still no substitute for blood. Blood can’t be manufactured; it can only come from donors like you. Blood donations are needed all year. Unfortunately, demand for blood during the holidays coincides with a lower availability of donors due to vacations and holiday activities, seasonal illnesses, school breaks and severe weather.
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. This includes cancer patients, people with chronic diseases, cardiac and organ transplant patients, and babies that are born prematurely. In a medical emergency, having blood products on hand can make a lifesaving difference.
Even in our state-of-the-art storage facilities, blood doesn’t last forever. The average person can only donate one pint of blood in a single donation, and the shelf life is only 42 days. A steady flow of blood donors is necessary to keep hospitals stocked in case of emergency.
Helping others could also help you or a loved one. Donating blood is an incredible way to help those in need, but you also get the added benefit of a free mini health assessment prior to donation. When you come in to donate, a Red Cross staff member will check your blood pressure, hemoglobin levels and pulse. We record this information in your online donor profile which you can be accessed at any time ato help you manage your health.
It’s easy to do. The actual donation can be quick with the whole process from start to finish only lasting about an hour. You can save even more time by using the Blood Donor App and answering your health history questions using RapidPass on the day of your donation. You can then print out your questionnaire or bring the PDF on your phone to your blood drive or donation center.
Give Something that Means Something®
During this season of gift-giving, we hope you’ll start a new tradition of giving the ultimate gift of lifesaving blood. Gather a group of friends or family, schedule at your local drive or donation center and spend your holidays knowing that your new tradition may help patients feel well enough to enjoy their own holiday traditions as well. What could be a better gift than that?
Ready to start that new tradition? Schedule your appointment through the Blood Donor App, RedCrossBlood.org, or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).