January is National Blood Donor Month

January 9, 2013

Red Cross Encourages Public to Honor Blood Donors by Helping Save Lives 


Lansing, MI—January 4—Since 1970, blood collection organizations like the American Red Cross have designated January as National Blood Donor Month.  Each year, about 9.5 million volunteers donate around 16 million units of whole blood and red blood cells.  About 20 percent of these donors are giving blood for the first time.


“Blood donors are very special people whose only reward is typically the satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped save someone’s life,” said Todd Kulman, Communications Program Manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross.  “January is the perfect time of year to honor blood donors and their commitment to saving lives.”


Every day, about 44,000 units of blood are transfused in the United States. And while that need is constant, blood donations often slump during the winter months due to the cold and inclement weather. That makes it even more important for donors to give blood if they can.


“Most everyone at some point in their lives will meet someone who has received blood products,” said Kulman.  “Nearly 30 million blood products are transfused to 5 million patients a year.  Those patients need blood for treatment of cancer and other serious diseases, for organ transplants, and for emergency care related to accidents and trauma.”


So take a moment this month to say ‘thank you’ to one of the millions of people who volunteer to give the gift of life each year.  In fact, go one step further—consider rolling up your sleeve and donating blood.  You’ll not only save a life, but you’ll also enjoy the feeling of knowing you’ve done something good.



How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit  redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.


About the American Red Cross

The Great Lakes Blood Services Region serves 65 counties, and needs to collect about 650 units of blood a day to meet patient need in hospitals. In addition to supplying about 40 percent of the nation’s blood, the American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills, provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.