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World Blood Donor Day: Take Action to Help Others by Giving Life

Blood donor Bob Crosby and Red Cross collections staff member Brittany Jones

Blood donor Bob Crosby and Red Cross collections staff member Brittany Jones. Photo Courtesy of: Kim Elizabeth Manning, Blood Donor Center Volunteer, American Red Cross Pacific Northwest Blood Services Region.

Donating blood is most important to me. I know – and am proud – that I am helping save lives with every donation I make.

It’s a day set aside to honor the lifesaving contributions of generous blood donors. On June 14, the American Red Cross will celebrate World Blood Donor Day.

World Blood Donor Day recognizes and thanks everyone who rolls up a sleeve throughout the year, while encouraging others to take action and donate blood this summer. Summer can be a difficult time to collect enough blood to meet patient needs, which is one of the reasons World Blood Donor Day is celebrated in June.

MISSION TO GIVE World Blood Donor Day honors donors like Bob Crosby, of Salem, Oregon. Bob is a longtime donor and makes it his mission to roll up his sleeve as often as he can.

“Donating blood is most important to me. I know – and am proud – that I am helping save lives with every donation I make,” said Red Cross blood donor Bob Crosby. “By donating regularly, I am thrilled to do my part to help, and I wish for more people to recognize the need to give blood and to experience what I feel each time I donate.”

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood – but its availability is not something to take for granted. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day.

CREATING A CULTURE OF GIVING From now, through World Blood Donor Day on June 14, presenting blood and platelet donors at Red Cross blood donation centers and blood drives will receive a limited-edition Nexcare give bandage. Each bandage expresses this year’s program theme, “Creating a Culture of Giving,” celebrating all those who give around the world. The 2015 collection of bandages features eight vibrant designs inspired by patterns and textiles from various cultures and locations around the world.

All eligible donors are encouraged to make and keep donation appointments this month to help maintain the summer blood supply and prevent a shortage. Blood and platelet donations often decline during the summer when schools are out of session and regular donors are on vacation. Donors of all blood types are currently needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download now. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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