Since 1970, blood collection organizations like the American Red Cross have designated January as National Blood Donor Month. Each year, about 9.5 million volunteers donate around 16 million units of whole blood and red blood cells. About 20 percent of these donors are giving blood for the first time.
“Blood donors are very special people whose only reward is typically the satisfaction of knowing they’ve helped save someone’s life,” said Todd Kulman, Communications Program Manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “January is the perfect time of year to honor blood donors and their commitment to saving lives.”
Every day, about 44,000 units of blood are transfused in the United States. And while that need is constant, blood donations often slump during the winter months due to the cold and inclement weather. That makes it even more important for donors to give blood if they can.
“Most everyone at some point in their lives will meet someone who has received blood products,” said Kulman. “Nearly 30 million blood products are transfused to 5 million patients a year. Those patients need blood for treatment of cancer and other serious diseases, for organ transplants, and for emergency care related to accidents and trauma.”
So take a moment this month to say ‘thank you’ to one of the millions of people who volunteer to give the gift of life each year. In fact, go one step further—consider rolling up your sleeve and donating blood. You’ll not only save a life, but you’ll also enjoy the feeling of knowing you’ve done something good.