National Blood Donor Month 2019

Happy New Year! January 2019 is National Blood Donor Month, and the American Red Cross will continue to play its key role of supplying blood all across the nation to the hospitals, clinics, care centers, and medical facilities that serve our communities.

Some of you may be asking—why is National Blood Donor Month in January? As we all kick off this new year, oftentimes numbers in crucial blood donations drop sharply. Fewer blood and platelet donations are made due to busy schedules, holiday breaks from school, inclement weather, and winter illnesses. Unfortunately, severe weather has often forced dozens of blood drives to be cancelled by the Red Cross. This makes National Blood Donor Month, which has taken place since January of 1970, an extremely critical time. Statistically, the Red Cross must collect over 13,000 donations every single day in order to keep the blood supply ready and meet the needs of around 2,600 various medical centers across the United States. When these numbers are not met, lives are put at stake and the need for blood will continue to rise.

How can we, as youth, play a role in this initiative?
More than ever, younger generations utilize social media platforms to communicate, socialize, and network. It can be a very useful tool to boost involvement with the American Red Cross, both on a local level and to advocate for national initiatives, such as National Blood Donor Month. Maintaining active social media accounts ensures that more club members and youth volunteers are receiving relevant Red Cross content on a regular basis.
Publicizing for local blood drives that are happening at Red Cross Chapters, high schools, and university campuses is a great way to increase the community’s involvement and attendance at these events. As youth leaders, reach out across your collective networks in order to personally educate the field and advocate for National Blood Donor Month-related events and opportunities; come up with creative ways to improve outreach to more and more members! Encourage past blood donors to share their experiences and inspire others to donate blood. Feel free to watch and share these two videos, which highlight Marquita’s and Tymia’s donation stories.

Looking to host a blood drive of your own?
Reach out to your local Red Cross unit! If you are currently a student on a high school or collegiate campus, connect with school administration officials and work with them to find the best way to host a blood drive right on-campus. Visit the Give Blood landing page on RedCross.Org to access great resources on the blood donation process, eligibility requirementshow to host a blood drive, and more.
Blood drives can be a great way to involve your Red Cross Club and the entire school community. Club members can volunteer to help run the blood drives themselves, and they can be amazing ambassadors to spreading the message amongst their peers, teachers, faculty, and other members of the community. Actively network with other Clubs in your region who have been successful with running blood drives geared at youth donors in order to determine best practices you can implement in your own school.
Find out what free items or other incentives are available to be provided at your blood drive! Personally, coupons to local businesses and Red Cross t-shirts are among some of the items that students and donors of all ages seem to always appreciate at each of the semi-annual blood drives we held.
A great opportunity: the National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge
This program is a partnership between the American Red Cross and the Migrant Students Foundation! It is a platform to educate college students about the importance of Hispanic/Latino blood donors to help ensure a diverse blood supply. The partnership honors the life and legacy of Cesar Chavez and is dedicated to encouraging college students to promote health, education, health and science careers, civic engagement and saving lives.
If you are in college, participate by scheduling a blood drive with your Club between March 1, 2019–April 30, 2019. The Challenge is a great opportunity to increase engagement with Hispanic/Latino, service and health-related college student organizations. As a Student Organizer, you have the opportunity to earn a $1,000 scholarship! For more instructions on the Challenge, useful resources, and other information, visit
Connect with a National Youth Council member if you would like any additional guidance, advice, event planning tips and tricks, or have any questions at all!
Cody Tran, National Youth Council Member, Youth Consortium Call Lead

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