You can gift wrap a sweater. You can place a bow on a shiny new bike. You can fill a gift bag with holiday cookies. But the perfect gift is one that can’t be placed under the tree – a lifesaving blood donation.
During this holiday season, the American Red Cross asks those who are eligible to give the perfect gift – to give blood. When someone donates blood, they give another hug, another laugh, another smile, another chance - to someone in need.
“The holidays are a busy time of year, but patients are still counting on blood being available when they need it,” said Shaun Gilmore, president, Red Cross Biomedical Services. “We are asking you to give the perfect gift and help a family member, friend or someone you’ve never met unwrap a lifetime of memories.”
Every two seconds, someone in this country needs blood. 44,000 blood donations are needed every day to help trauma victims, surgical patients, burn victims, patients with blood disorders and many others.
Potential blood donors must be 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 be in generally good health. People should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when they come to donate. Eligible donors can give whole blood every 56 days.
To schedule a donation time or get more information about giving blood or platelets, people can visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).