red cross on white concrete building

Op-Ed – American Red Cross

Three Reasons to Give the Gift of Life by Donating Blood

by Conrad Close

Next week, the American Red Cross will host a blood drive on the campus of Kennesaw State University. This probably isn’t news to most people – blood drives are common events. Many of you have probably walked past the Red Cross blood drive sign without giving it a second thought. Here’s why you should.

Our blood banks are constantly in danger of running out of blood. You may not realize it, but the blood supply in America is always in high demand. Cancer patients, accident victims, organ transplant recipients, and even burn victims all often require extensive blood transfusions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a greater need for blood donations than ever before.

Very few people donate blood. The Red Cross estimates that approximately 38% of Americans are eligible to donate blood regularly, but only 10% of those individuals ever donate. Even those who do donate often only do so once, rather than donating regularly. You can donate blood every 56 days – that’s six times every year! If you’re eligible to donate blood or ready to donate again, take a few minutes to follow through. It’s more important than you think.

Donating blood is a small sacrifice that does a world of good. Red Cross blood drives make the process quick, convenient, and easy. You don’t have to go out of your way or spend hours volunteering in a hospital ward to make a difference – you can simply roll up your sleeve and make a small sacrifice that can quite literally change the lives of people in your community. The Red Cross estimates that one blood donation can help up to three patients, and if your blood type is rare, you could be the one person that makes a difference. Giving blood is a small sacrifice we can all make to give the gift of life to those who need it. One day, that patient desperately needing an emergency blood transfusion might be you.