As families across the country celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, children remember lessons from their fathers and grandfathers on giving back. Passing down the value of donating blood from generation to generation, children who became adults continue to give the gift of life.Lessons from Our Fathers “When I was a teenager, my father used to take me to blood drives at the Air Force Base, and we used to donate together. We used to get hooked up at the same time … After his first heart attack he wasn't able to give anymore. However, I continue to give, and have given over 103 pints! A couple of years ago, my mom broke her hip and during surgery she needed some blood. I am glad that I and others cared enough to donate or she may not be here with me today. I may not have enough money to help others out at times, but I can always give the gift of life,” wrote Debbie
Paul also donates blood because of his father. “I always remember my dad as a giving donor ... He was so proud of his rare blood type and never hesitated to answer the call when that blood type level was low,” he wrote. After Paul’s father and mother passed away, he cleaned out his father’s desk and found his father’s blood donor card.
“I noticed that my dad gave his first donation when he was 17 years old during World War II on September 11, 1943. I also found a blood donor pin for 13 gallons. When I gave my next donation I told the volunteer about the 13 gallon pin. ‘That's about a car fill up of gasoline,’ she said … I was so proud of my dad. The volunteer then went on to tell me about giving platelets and how cancer patients primarily use them. Since that time I have tried to be a regular platelet donor to honor my dad and emulate his giving spirit,” wrote Paul.
Our Grandfathers’ Legacies “My late grandfather and personal hero is the reason that I have become a regular blood donor. He served in the Marine Corps during World War II. After returning home unscathed by the war to his newlywed bride, he vowed to show his gratitude for his life, limbs and faculties by becoming a lifetime blood donor.
Near the end of his life, he received a plaque from the American Red Cross for donating 40 gallons of blood. This was quite the lifetime achievement award! … My grandfather’s deeds have inspired me to overcome my fear of needles and become a regular blood donor. It is my privilege to follow in his footsteps and continue the legacy of giving and appreciation I have for my life, my limbs and my faculties. Every time I give blood, I do it with intention -- BECAUSE I CAN -- and because my grandfather set the example,” wrote Leisa.
Corina also gives blood in honor of her grandfather. “I am 17 years old and I love donating blood … He (my grandfather) was an active Red Cross member and would donate blood every chance he could. The moment he was eligible, he found a place to donate. Now, I am proud to say I am just like him and am finding a place to donate the moment I am eligible. I am proud to be a donor just like my grandfather,” wrote Corina.
Make an Appointment One of the top priorities for the Red Cross is to help ensure that a robust blood supply is available for anyone in need. To fulfill this lifesaving mission, the Red Cross needs the generous support of eligible blood donors like you.
Individuals who are 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 are in generally good health may be eligible to give blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate. It must be at least 56 days since your last blood donation.
To make an appointment to give blood or find a blood drive near you, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Eligible donors with O positive and negative, B negative and A negative blood types are encouraged to donate double red cells where available.