What: By the time January rolls around, the cold weather is in full swing. Temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall in earnest, creating dangerous traffic conditions that can lead to traumatic accidents. This is when blood donations are needed the most. Injuries from traffic accidents add to the need for blood donations even more. In January, get out and donate during National Volunteer Blood Donor Month.
Background: Since 1970, January has been known as National Volunteer Blood Donor Month when blood donations are at a low. Many factors can play into a person’s decision not to donate blood, such as cold and flu symptoms, holiday schedules and the winter blues. But according to the American Red Cross, more than 44,000 donations are needed every single day. There is no better time to get out and donate blood than when the blood is most needed.
Story Pitch: A wide array of people, groups and organizations can encourage blood donation during this month. High schools will want to host blood drives and encourage their 17 and 18 year old students to give blood. Doctors and hospitals can stress the importance of blood donations during the winter months. They may also note the steps in the blood donation process to ease the minds of nervous, first-time donors. Police, fire and emergency medical workers will want to promote the importance of blood donation while also encouraging safe driving precautions. Car retailers and manufacturers can also promote safety features on cars during a time when driving conditions can be most hazardous.
Story Hook: According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. The average healthy blood donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days. Consider the following when you make your pitch:
- Where can a person find blood donation drives near them?
- Who is eligible to donate blood? What are the requirements?
- How safe is the blood donation process?
- Where does the blood go once it is donated?
- Who benefits from donated blood?
Tips: A hematologist can provide insight into blood and can discuss the importance of blood donation. In addition, a faithful and regular blood donor can discuss the blood donation process and soothe any first-time donors.
America’s Blood Centers
American Red Cross
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper
Event Dates from CHASE’S Calendar of Events