Spring Cleaning with Red Cross: Training and Giving Blood Edition

Leroy Straight averages 20-24 visits per year to the Donor Center to give platelets.
Clear your schedule during spring cleaning for Red Cross training and new activities like giving blood.

This year, spring cleaning could go beyond organizing and scrubbing your home. If you're also clearing your schedule and refreshing your knowledge, the American Red Cross has training programs to provide life-saving skills and many blood donation locations for a rewarding new activity.

NEW SKILLS THROUGH TRAINING A variety of Red Cross courses provide training and skills to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. For instance, a First Aid/CPR/AED training course will teach you how to respond to common first aid emergencies, including burns, cuts and injuries to the head, neck and back. This course teaches you how to respond to cardiac and breathing emergencies in adults, including the use of automated external defibrillators (AED), with an option to learn adult and infant/child CPR.

All course options align with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Best Practices for Workplace First Aid Training Programs and are available in classroom and blended learning formats. Primary Red Cross course options include:

  • First Aid/CPR/AED training courses
  • Lifeguarding courses
  • Babysitting and Caregiving courses
  • Learn more and find a course in your area through the above links, or consider becoming an instructor.

    GIVING BLOOD As you assess your free time and activities this spring, consider becoming a regular blood donor. A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days, or double red cells every 112 days. This helps fill a constant need, as every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood, and the Red Cross needs more than 15,000 blood donations every day to help patients across the country.

    New donors join the roughly 3.3 million people who voluntarily donate blood to the Red Cross each year. Many donors share stories and motivations for giving blood on the Red Cross Donor Stories page.

    Ann in California shared, “I started donating blood in 1995 when my 3-year-old son was seriously ill. I was always so thankful that there was a unit available when he needed it. […] I consider donating blood to be one of the easiest, nicest things I do in life.”

    Roberta in Maryland even created a new activity to help increase donations from those around her: “I was a first-time donor about two years ago at the drive at my workplace, and found out the form of anemia I have makes me ineligible to donate. Since that date - I have become the Blood Drive Coordinator at my office and instead give all my time and efforts to increase donations at every drive!”

    Blood Donation Facts and Statistics:

  • One donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
  • More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
  • Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, less than 10% actually do each year.
  • Blood cannot be manufactured – it can only come from generous donors.
  • If you began donating blood at age 17 and donated every 56 days until you reached 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood, potentially helping to save more than 1,000 lives!
  • Find a Red Cross blood drive or blood donation center near you just by entering your zip code.

    For more in the series, read about spring cleaning to create a survival kit.

    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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.