Programs help build a blood donation generation

February 1, 2012



Students today have more power than they think. And it’s a power that comes from within.

By becoming involved with blood donation activities, students from elementary through high school have an opportunity to effect change by helping to save lives.

“We want kids to know they can make a huge difference in the world,” said Diane E. Ward, CEO for the Southeastern Michigan Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross “And by becoming a Red Cross blood donor or volunteer, and by encouraging adults in their lives to do the same, they can make the difference of a lifetime.”

The Red Cross offers a variety of programs for engaging youth. Programs like Pint Size Heroes and Heroes in the Making help build awareness and provide blood donor recruitment opportunities among elementary and middle school-age children. And high schoolers have an opportunity to sponsor blood drives at their schools, form Red Cross clubs, and to donate blood if they are eligible.

Baby boomers and the WWII generation make up more than half of Red Cross blood donors. But with time, more people who now give may need blood products for medical care. American Red Cross statistics reveal that people 69 and older account for 10 percent of the population, but use about 50 percent of all blood transfused. Expectations are that those percentages will increase—exponentially—as baby boomers age.

“America simply needs more donors from younger generations to step forward and commit to building and maintaining our nation’s blood supply,” said Ward. “Engaging kids early on is a great way to build awareness and get them involved in the act of giving. It’s all about passing that baton to the next generation.” 

Media Contacts: Martha Kurtz, 313-494-2745   and  Bridget Tuohey, 313-576-4184