Winter is a great time to get out and have some fun. How about an invigorating hike or exhilarating day on the slopes? There’s also ice skating, snowshoeing, sledding, giving blood…
That’s right, giving blood. January is National Blood Donor Month and the 21,000 people who require blood products today (and every day) need your help.
National Blood Donor Month started in January 1970 as a way to address the scarcity of blood and platelet donations during the winter. Since then, the American Red Cross blood collection service has grown and it now collects 40 percent of blood donations nationwide
A few facts (from the American Red Cross) regarding blood donations:
- Every 2 seconds someone needs blood, that’s 36,000 units of blood needed every day.
- 13.6 million whole and red blood cell units are collected each year.
- 6.8 million people give blood each year.
- 38% of the population are eligible but only 10% donate.
- A single donor helps more than one patient.
- Donors must be at least 17-years-old and weight at least 110 pounds.
- The actual blood withdrawal takes only 8-10 minutes. However, the entire process, including checking-in, a health screening, etc. takes approximately 1 hour 15 minutes.
- Blood may be donated every 56 days.
- Platelets may be donated 24 times a year.
- Platelets are used in cancer and organ transplant treatment.
- And, all donors receive cookies and juice after the donation.
Inspired to donated? The Red Cross holds 145,000 blood drives nationwide each year, so there’s probably one nearby. Find a local blood drive HERE at the Red Cross blood donor website. An hour of your time might save someone’s life. Plus, cookies.
On a separate note….
New England is smack dab in the middle of winter, with two months behind us and two more to go. Can you say cabin fever? We fight the winter doldrums by getting outside and staying active. illumiNITE reflective athletic wear will keep you warm, safe, and seen when you’re out barreling through snow drifts and dodging plows. Check out our winter gear here.