It’s National Blood Donor Month

It’s a New Year—Get Your Blood Flowing!

It’s a dreary time of year. The holidays are behind us, gifts are unwrapped, and we are coping with the bills. However, consider giving a priceless gift at the start of a new year—the gift of life through blood donation.

January has been National Blood Donor Month since 1970, bringing awareness during a time typically associated with a drop in donations. It originated to show gratitude for those who donate and bring attention to the ongoing need for lifesaving blood.

Man donating blood on Blood Donor Month

Low Blood Supply

Extreme weather events during 2022 are to blame for much of today’s blood shortage, which was impacted by the pandemic before that. From weather alone, hundreds of blood drives had to be canceled, resulting in the loss of approximately 9,000 donations. Blood donation is the only source from which healthcare professionals can obtain blood. Modern medicine can do many things; however, we cannot create this life-essential substance.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a blood transfusion.Accidents, illness, and other emergencies can cause an immediate need for all blood types. We can prepare for the unexpected and protect ourselves, loved ones, and community through blood donation.

How to Give

Pottstown area organizations host multiple blood drives every week. To find one near you and schedule an appointment, visit American Red Cross Blood Services, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or download the Red Cross Blood Donor App. For blood center locations operated by Keystone-Miller Blood Center, visit Give a Pint

Who Can Donate

Most healthy individuals ages 16 years and older, who weigh at least 110 pounds, can donate blood. The entire process may take up to an hour, even though the donation itself is very quick. If you choose, you typically can donate several times a year. Illness, medications, anemia (iron deficiency), and international travel can interfere with your ability to donate. Visit Requirements by Donation Type for more specifics on eligibility.

Alternative Ways to Give

If you don’t meet the American Red Cross criteria to donate, or you struggle with queasiness at the thought of blood, consider donating time or money. As a volunteer blood donor ambassador, you provide hospitality to those who are donating. Welcoming these mini heroes at check-in and making them comfortable throughout the process is a rewarding experience.

Transportation specialists are trusted with delivery of blood products to nearby hospitals. If you’re feeling ambitious, host a blood drive—an altruistic act, rewarding for you and all involved at your organization. Much can be accomplished that does not require the prick of a needle.