March is American Red Cross Month. The American Red Cross provides the American people with the safest, most reliable and most cost-effective blood services, which are made possible by the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
The American Red Cross holds blood drives in which eligible persons can give blood, and potentially save up to three lives per donation. According to its website, the organization collects approximately 5.3 million units of blood from roughly 3.1 million donors nationwide, and distributes over 7.7 million blood products for transfusion each year.
The American Red Cross allows groups to host blood drives, meaning that donations can be made at a variety of locations. With nearly 60 Blood drives in town this month, there are plenty of opportunities for Wichitans to make a difference.
Find a Blood Drive here.
The Donating Experence
When you make an appointment to donate blood, you should allot an hour to do so, though the actual donation will only take about 8-10 minutes. The whole process is broken down into four parts. The first portion is registration. This step is followed by a mini physical that will assess your pulse, body temperature, blood pressure, and hemoglobin. After this, you are ready to begin with your donation. Finally, the process concludes with a refreshment step, where donors are able to enjoy a snack and a drink and relax for about 15 minutes before returning to their regular routines.
To ensure safety, the American Red Cross enforces stringent requirements for donors in regards to height, weight, medical conditions and medications. To find out if you’re eligible to give blood, click here.
Other Ways to Get Involved
In the event that you are ineligible to give blood, don’t worry. There are other ways you can help! The need for blood is constant, so helping out can be as simple as spreading the word! The Red Cross website offers options to send ecards inviting your family and friends to give blood. You can also connect with the American Red Cross on Facebook and invite friends to support the cause on social media.
Volunteering is a big way to help. Whether you’re helping host a blood drive or volunteering your time, volunteers are what make the efforts of the American Red Cross possible. To learn more about the American Red Cross, click here.