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Celebrating National Blood Donor Month

Celebrating National Blood Donor Month

It’s officially January, which means it’s the month of beginnings in the new year, a cold winter and of course Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But did you know January also has a significant impact for those in need? That’s right—January is recognized as National Blood Donor Month. According to the American Red Cross, in the United States alone, someone is in need of blood every two seconds. That factors out to about every one in seven people who enter a hospital.

Yet despite the significant need for blood donations, few people actually take steps toward making a difference. Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population are eligible to donate blood, less than 10% actually do. During the winter months especially, donation shortages can become a serious issue. With cold weather, busy holiday schedules and increases in sickness, January can deter even the most dedicated of donors. This has a severely negative impact, causing issues such as blood shortages, especially during a season with risk of accidents.

When January was declared National Blood Donor Month in 1970, its purpose was to recognize current blood donors for their giving, attract new donors and bring awareness to an issue which affects all of us. With 2018 underway, how can you celebrate National Blood Donor Month? Check out a few ideas for how you can roll up a sleeve and give through January and the year.

1. Find out if you’re eligible.
Most importantly, the first step in celebrating National Blood Donor Month is to find out if you’re eligible to donate. According to the American Red Cross, the eligibility requirements for donating include: (1) be of 17 years or older; (2) weigh at least 110 pounds; (3) be in good general health and feel well on the day of donation. Depending on where you donate, eligibility requirements may fluctuate. When donating whole blood, donors can give every 56 days, or every eight weeks. If you choose to donate blood platelets, plasma or power red, eligibility requirements and donation frequency fluctuates as well. Check with your donation bank or a local blood drive to be certain of your eligibility and frequency requirements.

2. Decide on a location.
There are two main ways to donate blood: either through a local blood bank or a national supplier. National suppliers of blood, like the American Red Cross, collect blood from all across the country, then redistribute it to areas in need. According to their website, the Red Cross collects approximately 40% of the nation’s blood supply and distributes it to about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the United States. This means that if you donate blood in North Dakota, your contribution could go to help disaster relief efforts in Texas.

Local blood banks are just that: local. Community blood banks typically collect less blood from a smaller population area, but then use that blood within a localized geographic region. So if you give to a blood bank in your community, you can feel confident that your donation is going to help somewhere near you, perhaps even a neighbor, friend or family member. Deciding on where you want to donate is a great step in giving this January. Maybe you don’t particularly care, as long as someone receives the blood. Maybe you care a lot, and decide based on your convictions. No matter what you decide, you can make a valuable contribution for others either closeby or far away.

3. Conquer your fears.
The number one reason people say they donate blood is because they “want to help others.” On the other hand, two of the most common reasons for not donating are “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.” All in all, the entire donation process—from registration to cookies—takes approximately one hour, with less than a minute of that time consisting of a needle poke. If needles tend to be an anxiety of yours, consider this: one minute of discomfort can make a world of difference for someone else in need. Your single donation can save up to three lives. That sounds like a pretty great reason to conquer your fears.

This January, celebrate National Blood Donor Month by taking steps to go out, roll up your sleeve and give. Set the tone for the month and the rest of the year to live more altruistically.

Our Impact in 2017

January 1-December 31
  • CAPSA is a non-profit domestic violence, sexual abuse, and rape recovery center serving Cache County and the Bear Lake area.

  • YCC Family Crisis Center is a domestic violence shelter and rape crisis center provide services 24/7 to victims and their children.

  • Utah Legal Services (ULS) is a nonprofit law office incorporated in 1976 committed to making equal justice a reality by providing free legal help in non-criminal cases to low-income Utahns.

  • South Valley Services is a domestic violence service provider in West Jordan, Utah. We provide safe shelter and supportive services to women, men and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence.

  • Today, the YWCA is Utah’s most comprehensive provider of family violence services; our programs include walk-in services and a crisis line, emergency shelter, transitional housing, children’s programs, and a vast array of supportive services.

  • Established in 1990, Seekhaven assists survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault rebuild their lives. Serving Grand County and Southeastern Utah, Seekhaven provides a wide range of essential services including client advocacy, emergency shelter, and transition assistance.

  • Peace House is dedicated to ending family violence and abuse through education, outreach, support services, and safe housing.

  • New Hope Crisis Center has been serving Box Elder County for 30 years. Our mission is to provide all-inclusive, integrated, victim-centered services to stabilize and support individuals, families, and our community.

  • Founded in 1984, The Center for Women and Children in Crisis has been in continuous operation for 33 years. Our mission is to provide a caring, advocating, safe, and educationally based environment for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

  • Our organization advocates for victims of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault, and the homeless. Serving people in Sevier, Piute, Millard, Sanpete and Wayne counties of Utah.

  • The DOVE Center is the only area agency providing safe-shelter, crisis intervention, and prevention for clients who have been victimized by violence in their home – whether by a family member or cohabitant – that also serves victims of rape and sexual assault.

  • Founded in 1922, Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake is a non-profit organization that promotes safety, stability and self-sufficiency for low income families and individuals, as well as victims of domestic violence, through effective, efficient legal advocacy and assistance.

  • Canyon Creek Services provides free and confidential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties.

  • Valley Behavioral Health is a nonprofit network of clinics providing treatment for behavioral conditions, addictions, psychiatric conditions, autism and other chronic health conditions. We treat chronic lifelong conditions as well as temporary conditions triggered by traumatic life events. Our programs are tailored to people of all ages and every social, cultural and economic situation.

  • Preserve the heritage. Enhance the wellbeing. Strengthen the future of the People.

  • Our Mission: To bring hope, justice, and healing to victims of domestic violence murder by providing holistic non-profit legal representation in the civil, probate and family courts.

  • At Amethyst Center for Healing we are dedicated to helping individuals, families, and communities recover from trauma and abuse, so that we may all live peaceful, empowered lives.

© 2018 Utah Domestic Violence Coalition

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