Spread Love, Give Blood
For many, Valentine’s Day is often celebrated with exchanging gifts in the form of cards, flowers, chocolate, jewelry, and spending quality time with our loved ones. This year let’s spread the love to our community with an act of kindness straight from the heart: giving the gift of life by becoming a blood donor.
THE NEED: On average, more than 38,000 blood donations are needed daily to sustain our blood banks. A ten percent (10%) decline in people donating blood since the start of the pandemic and the increased need for blood transfusions contributed to the current nationwide blood shortage. Donated blood only has a shelf life of three to six weeks for use.
Last month, the American Red Cross declared the first-ever national blood crisis in more than a decade, raising concerns over patient care. This development forces already strained and exhausted medical professionals and hospitals to make the difficult choice of who gets priority.
Blood donors help a multitude of patients from accident and burn victims, cancer patients, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, trauma patients, victims of natural disasters/emergencies, and those with chronic diseases.
MARKETING WITH A HEART: In order to alleviate this blood shortage crisis and entice people to donate blood, the American Red Cross teamed up with various agencies to encourage people to donate blood. Donors who give blood through the American Red Cross during the month of January had the opportunity to win a $500 gift card, a home theater package or a getaway trip to the Super Bowl. Krispy Kreme also teamed up with them and offered a free dozen donuts for blood donors during the last week of January. Past partnerships for blood donations incentives include Apple products, Baskin Robbins (give a pint, get a pint), and discounts from participating retailers.
This month, the American Red Cross, in partnership with Amazon, offers a $10 Amazon.com gift card for those who give blood from February 1 to February 28.
ACT NOW! DONATE!: To find a blood drive near you, visit redcrossblood.org and enter your zip code. The closest locations as well as the option to make an appointment will be provided to you. Before donating, make sure you meet eligibility requirements as stated on their website.
Here are some tips before, during, and after donating blood:
Before you donate:
- Schedule your appointment.
- Eat iron-rich foods (i.e. red meat, fish, poultry, beans, spinach, etc)
- Get a good night’s sleep and hydrate.
On the day of:
- Bring your donor card, driver’s license, or two other forms of identification if you don’t have a driver’s license.
- A list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re currently taking.
- Drink an extra 16oz of water.
- Eat a healthy meal. Avoid fatty or greasy foods.
- Wear a shirt/top with sleeves you can roll up above your elbows.
After your donation:
- Relax and have some cookies and other snacks provided at the donation site. Eat slowly.
- Drink an extra 8 oz of water and don’t drink alcohol over the next 24 hours.
- Keep eating iron-rich foods.
- Avoid heavy lifting or vigorous exercises for the rest of the day.
- Take it easy for the rest of the day. Sit down or lie down if you experience any dizziness or lightheadedness.
Spread the love and give some love not just on Valentine’s Day but every day!