January is National Blood Donor Month. It may seem as though some National Months are randomly chosen, but there is a very good reason that January is National Blood Donor month.
Fewer blood drives are scheduled around the holidays when organizations’ calendars are already full. Travel and bad weather keep even regular donors from making their usual blood donations. And more people are unable to give during flu season. So January is the time when it’s hardest to get more donations, and the blood supply across the country falls to critically low levels.
But people still need blood. According to the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals (ADRP), America’s health care facilities need about 39,000 units of blood every day. Having needed blood on hand can literally be a matter of life and death for people in your community .
The American Red Cross has taken the month of January each year since 1970 to celebrate blood donors and to help increase awareness. January is a great time to give blood, or to make a pledge to give regular donations of blood for the whole year.
Who can donate?
People who are over 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in good general health can usually donate blood. When you go to give blood, you will be asked questions about recent travel and some other factors. You can safely donate blood about every 56 days.
Where can blood be donated?
The American Red Cross has an easy tool you can use to find local blood drives. Click on the link and type in your zip code, and you will see places where you can donate blood. This month, there are blood drives taking place at the University of Arkansas Ecclesia College, Walmart in Bentonville, and several other locations.
This is a great time to become a blood donor, or to give blood again if you haven’t done so recently.