I donated blood for the first time when I was 17 years old at the Fallston High School Blood Drive. Since then, I’ve made 35 additional donations. There were times when I was diligent about donating frequently, and others when I went almost a full year before donating again.
One of my New Year’s resolutions in 2024 is to give blood the maximum number of times possible: 7 (once every 56 days). I completed my first donation of the year on January 4, and have my next appointment scheduled for Leap Year Day. With the current national shortage of blood and blood products, I thought I would start this campaign in the hopes of getting others to donate, maybe even for the first time. Every donation saves lives, and it’s an easy and free way to help others in our community.
If you have never donated before (or haven’t in a long time), it’s a very easy process. You register with the American Red Cross and make an appointment at a donation center or blood drive in your area. As your appointment approaches, you’ll be emailed a notification to complete your “RapidPass.” This lets your read all the pre-donation materials and fill out the questionnaire before you arrive at your donation, greatly reducing your time there. At the appointment, you’ll check-in, go through a basic health screen (temp, pulse, blood pressure, hemoglobin checks), fill out a HIV/AIDS testing consent form, make your donation, have a drink in a snack after, and be on your way. The whole process usually takes about an hour or less.
Please consider joining me this year in donating blood through the American Red Cross. Your donation just might save the life of someone you know and love.