While we often think of human necessities like food and water, there is one vital resource that could be running low and is needed to save lives—donating blood. This year, celebrate World Blood Donor Day with the rest of the world on June 14. This is a worldwide holiday meant to recognize safe blood donations and to recognize those who donate every year. Not sure if you’re ready to give or looking for other ways to get involved? Check out more on the history and ways that you can participate below.
Why Blood Donations Are Important
Every day, 38,000 blood donations are needed. From emergency transfusions to people with disorders or diseases, there is no shortage of reasons blood donations are a necessity. Type O-Negative blood is especially helpful because it can be donated to any individual, regardless of their blood type. Simply put, giving blood saves lives.
How You Can Participate
- Donate Blood (If You Can Safely Do So): The easiest and best way to participate is to give blood or plasma if you are able. Find a clinic or pop up near you to safely donate. Make sure to check out the list of requirements in order to be able to donate before making your appointment. Once you’ve committed to give, there will be professionals waiting to help guide you every step of the way.
- Volunteer at a Clinic: Even if you aren’t able to participate by giving blood, there are plenty of other ways to take part in World Blood Donor Day. Volunteers may be needed for non-medical portions of the visit, like checking people in and taking their information or following up after the visit to make sure they are feeling well. Ask your local donation site if there are other ways you can get involved.
- Write Thank You Cards: There are everyday heroes working to get blood donations and ensure everybody who needs blood can get it. Take a minute to write some thank you cards for your local clinic. This is a great way to involve your kids or the whole family. Consider reaching out to partner with a classroom or a summer camp to gather thank you cards for those who work to gather blood donations every day, as well as those who are saving lives by giving blood.
- Help Spread Awareness: Use World Blood Donor Day as an opportunity to educate those around you on the importance of donating blood. Consider organizing a blood drive at your work or with your community to help spread awareness. Call up a friend and ask them if they’ve considered donating blood or if they’ll go with you. The more people who know about the importance of donating blood, the more likely the supply will continue to thrive.
If you’re able, use World Blood Donor Day as a time to give back and save lives by donating blood. If you aren’t able to safely do so, consider helping out in one of the various other ways to help spread awareness. The need to help donate blood will always be there, so consider making a commitment to donate more times throughout the year and set reminders. Together, we can make sure those who really need blood donations can get the help they need and save lives.