January marks a special month for the unsung heroes who commit to helping the one in 10 hospital patients who need blood. Every year since 1970, blood collection organizations have honored people who roll up their sleeves to help save lives by designating January as National Blood Donor Month.
“You couldn’t pick a better month than January to recognize blood donors in your community and across the United States,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “As the start of the new year, January represents a time of renewal. And when you donate blood, you’re giving someone hope for a new beginning on life.”
Last year, about 8 million people volunteered to donate blood in the United States, and gave about 15 million units of whole blood and red blood cells. Those donations, Red Cross officials say, went to help patients needing blood transfusions for emergency and trauma care, for surgeries, or for the treatment of serious diseases like cancer or leukemia.
“Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood,” said Whitman. “Chances are, someone in your very community will need blood within the coming year.”
While the need for blood is constant, particular times of year present unique challenges for blood collection. January is among the more difficult months, Red Cross officials say, simply because of cold and snowy weather that makes it hard for some people to come to donate.
“If all eligible donors gave at least twice a year, it would greatly help in maintaining an adequate blood supply for our country,” said Whitman. “By getting their start in January, donors may find they have the time for one, two or even more lifesaving opportunities throughout the year.”
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Monday, Jan. 18, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Teresa of Avila, located at 1511 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso. All presenting donors will receive a free pocket calendar.
- Tuesday, Jan. 19, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at Valparaiso University in Harre Union Ballrooms B & C, located at 1509 Campus Drive in Valparaiso. All presenting donors will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for a $150 shopping spree.
- Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College, located at 3100 Ivy Tech Drive in Valparaiso.
- Friday, Jan. 22, from 11:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the YMCA of Portage in the Aerobics Room, located at 3100 Willowcreek Road in Portage. All presenting donors will receive a free pocket calendar.
- Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at First Christian Church, located at 1507 Glendale Blvd. in Valparaiso.
- Thursday, Jan. 28, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Hopewell Mennonite Church, located on SR 49 in Kouts.
- Thursday, Jan. 28, from 2:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Elementary School, located at 1052 Park Ave. in Valparaiso. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
- Friday, Jan. 29, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Thomas Jefferson Middle School in the cafeteria, located at 1600 Roosevelt Road in Valparaiso. This is a Pint Size Heroes blood drive.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals. In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.