June 14 is World Blood Donor Day – a day the American Red Cross joins blood collection organizations around the world to recognize the importance of a safe and stable blood supply and the donors who generously give to help save lives and enhance solidarity in communities.
The Red Cross is filled with everyday heroes who make a difference in the lives of hospital patients and inspire over 2 million people annually to roll up their sleeves and give the gift of life, like Joseph Edwards who has given 80 units or 10 gallons of lifesaving blood products.
“This is a milestone that I’m very proud of,” said Edwards. “I’ve been donating blood for a very long time; I feel very energized and happy today. I want to encourage others to also donate.”
Donating blood is a simple way to make a profound difference in the lives of patients. Edwards started donating blood when he was 18 years old, and since then his donations have helped approximately 240 hospital patients requiring blood transfusions.
As a national blood system, the Red Cross has the unique responsibility to help ensure hospital patients throughout the U.S. have blood when they need it. Summer poses additional challenges because many regular donors are unavailable due to vacations and holiday activities. However, the need for blood is constant.
Eligible donors are encouraged to join Edwards in making an appointment to give blood or platelets this month. To schedule an appointment, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).