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National Blood Donor MonthCelebrate National Blood Donor Month

In celebration of National Blood Donor Month this January, we at the American Red Cross want to extend our sincere appreciation for your contributions as a Red Cross supporter. Because of blood donors, volunteers and supporters like you, countless lives are impacted every day through a broad range of services. Thank you!

To help mark this occasion, we are sending you this eNewsletter just for “Red Crossers.” In it you’ll find helpful hints to enhance the blood donation experience, including nutrition tips, up-to-the-minute research and medical news as well as stories by and about other Red Cross blood donors and volunteers.

But most of all, this eNewsletter is about you. Email us with your suggestions for upcoming issues.

Look for the eNewsletter in your inbox approximately every 56 days. And please feel free to share it with friends and family!

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Pulse Survey

Take your Pulse! We want to know where you first donated blood to the American Red Cross. Complete results will be reported in the March issue.


Support College Blood Donor and Volunteer Krysta Meinzer on MTV’s “Cause Effect”

Krysta Meinzer, a 21 year-old senior at Lenoir-Rhyne College in Hickory, N.C., is one of several college students featured in the new MTV program “Cause Effect” for her work to promote blood drives in and around her college campus.

MTV's "Cause Effect"A video of Krysta’s activities is featured on,, and, along with regular airings on mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network. View and rate Krysta’s video as your favorite! 

The new mtvU series is an extension of the Windows Live Messenger i’m Initiative, in which Microsoft donates a portion of the program’s advertising revenue to one of nine cause-related organizations (including the Red Cross) each time a user has a conversation using the instant messaging software. 

You can advocate for blood donation too

Go to our website at and learn how you can send eCards and post web banners or share your story with us.


Super donor Ray Ryan gives 200th pint

Ray Ryan doesn’t like needles. He doesn’t like the sight of blood either. Yet he recently donated his 200th pint of blood – 25 gallons – to the American Red Cross.

“I knew there was a need,” the Blair, Neb., resident said. Ryan first gave blood in the Navy while stationed in Honolulu in 1965. He waited about five years to donate a second time but has been giving steadily ever since. “The Red Cross is always looking for donors,” he said. “The need is year round.”

Ryan gives blood about every eight weeks. Now that he’s reached the 200-pint milestone, he plans to donate every three months. “Once the stick is over, I’ve got it made,” Ryan said. “It’s a thing of doing for others.”

Tips for a good blood donation

When you give blood, a few easy steps can help ensure your body is ready to give the gift of life. Click here for tips for a good blood donation.



New donor-screening test reduces temporary deferrals and time

To help speed up the blood donation process for busy donors and reduce the number of donors temporarily deferred during their mini-physical, the Red Cross introduced a new, more accurate blood-iron measurement tool last year called HemoCue.

In one year, HemoCue has not only shortened blood donation times for donors, it has decreased donor deferrals due to low blood iron counts. This means more people are able to donate blood and help save lives.

HemoCue is just one of the ways the Red Cross is working to ensure you are healthy enough to donate and to speed up your donation time.

If you have been previously deferred from giving blood due to low iron levels, we want you know that a temporary deferral is just that – temporary. Learn more about iron and see if your diet includes enough iron-rich food on our website. And don’t forget to make an appointment to donate blood again soon.



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