This January, during National Blood Donor Month, the American Red Cross encourages people to roll up their sleeves to give blood to help maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients.
Since 1970, National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January to not only honor blood and platelet donors, but also to help increase donations during the winter months. Maintaining a sufficient blood supply for patients is difficult at this time of year because extreme winter weather and seasonal illnesses often decrease donor turnout.
Karla Essmiller became a blood donor in college, but the importance of giving blood hit home when several family members had medical emergencies.
“It only takes once sitting in a hospital, praying that your loved one will live through the day, to know how thankful you are for every single thing done to help them,” she said. “Donating blood is a simple gift that I can make that may help up to three people live another day. That makes me feel like a hero.”
The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to resolve to give blood regularly, beginning in January. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types AB, O, B negative and A negative.
To make an appointment to donate blood, download the free Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
- 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 6, Alton-Wood River Sportsmen’s Club, 3109 Godfrey Road, Godfrey
- 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, Zion Lutheran Church, 625 Church Drive, Bethalto