Press release from the American Red Cross:
Back to School: American Red Cross Asks Students to Add Blood Donation to Their To-Do List
Summer is a time for fun. But as summer winds down and as communities prepare for the back-to-school season, the American Red Cross encourages student donors to give blood and invite family and friends to donate blood at upcoming blood drives at their elementary, high schools or colleges.
“Students are the backbone of the blood supply,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “While we love summer just like everyone else, we always look forward to fall and to working with our next generation of blood donors.”
The blood supply can be affected by the lull in student donations as elementary, high schools or colleges observe summer breaks. Nearly 20 percent of the community blood supply was donated by students through scheduled drives at schools, colleges and universities last year. In addition, the American Red Cross has developed a community service project known as Pint Size Heroes to introduce children to the importance of donating blood. The program encourages students to volunteer at a blood drive at their elementary school or community center and invite parents, guardians and other adults to give blood on their behalf.
Red Cross officials say younger generations of blood donors will become the new face of blood donation as the current donor population ages. In fact, blood donations made through the Red Cross by teenagers are increasing while blood donations by older individuals are decreasing.
“If your school doesn’t have a Red Cross blood drive set up for the school year, please contact your local Red Cross to find out how you can get one on the books,” said Whitman. “Pint Size Heroes blood drives are also a great way for younger students to get involved.”
The Red Cross is using social media sites to build awareness and reach out to youth and other donors. For details, visit facebook.com and search for American Red Cross blood donors.
Give blood or platelets now through Sept. 7 and enter to win a weekly regional drawing for a $500 Meijer gift card!
Click here to see a list of upcoming American Red Cross blood drives in your area.
How to Donate Blood
Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) to schedule your blood donation appointment or visit IndianaOhioRedCross.org for more information. If you are at least 17 (In Indiana, you may give blood at 16 years of age with written, parental consent.) years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and are in good general health, you may be eligible to donate blood. All donors need to present positive identification.
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.