One Year Anniversary: Wisconsin Teens Help Save Lives by Donating Blood

March 17, 2009

MADISON, Wis. – Nearly 4,500 – that's the number of Wisconsin 16-year-olds that have donated blood through the American Red Cross since March 17, 2008. March is also Red Cross Month, and this year the American Red Cross is thanking the Wisconsin legislators who passed legislation last year allowing 16-year-olds to donate blood in the state of Wisconsin.

"The turnout has been amazing. When you consider that every pint of blood donated through the Red Cross can help up to three patients the impact of 16-year-old donors is incredible," said Greg Novinska, interim CEO of the American Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. "Young donors play a large role in helping us maintain a stable blood supply."

The legislation in Wisconsin has also provided additional eligible donors to help the Red Cross ensure a stable blood supply for patients in the area and across the country. With only 38 percent of the population currently eligible to donate blood, donations from 16-year-olds can make a difference in the lives of patients.

Nearly 30 states currently allow 16-year-olds to donate blood with parental consent. Several other states are currently pursuing similar legislation. Since many of today's dedicated blood donors began donating in high school, enabling 16-year-olds to donate gives students more opportunity to make blood donation a life-long habit.

From disaster response to blood collection, the American Red Cross is active in your community and across the nation. Get involved with the Red Cross and you can change a life, starting with your own.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit 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. Eligible donors must be at least 17 years old, or 16 years old with a signed Red Cross parental/guardian consent form where state permits, must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health.

About the American Red Cross

Governed by volunteers and supported by giving individuals and communities, the American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products to hospitals throughout the United States. While local hospital needs are always met first, the Red Cross also helps ensure no patient goes without blood no matter where or when they need it. In addition to providing nearly half of the nation's blood supply, the Red Cross provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.


Madison, WI
United States
43° 4' 22.9872" N, 89° 24' 4.428" W
See map: Google Maps