March is Red Cross Month
Throughout its 130-year history, the American Red Cross has helped millions of people in times of need thanks to the generous support of volunteers. From large scale natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti earthquake last year, to local house and apartment fires response, to ensuring a safe, stable blood and platelet supply for patients, the giving spirit of volunteers makes this support happen every day.
Due to the severe weather the nation experienced this winter, the Red Cross had more than 28,000 scheduled blood and platelet donations canceled. It is thanks to the response of volunteer blood drive coordinators and volunteer blood and platelet donors that patient needs continued to be met during this difficult time.
The Red Cross appreciates the volunteers and supporters who have given their time, blood or money that enables the Red Cross to perform its lifesaving mission. Thank you!
Blood donors are a reason to be grateful
Ten-year-old Bryan Botkin was asked to compile a list of things for which he was thankful as a homework assignment. The list was nearly 100 items long – everything from pizza and video games to gravel and health insurance.
"Despite the fact that he's going through some pretty tough days, Bryan hasn't lost the ability to look around and be thankful," explains his mom, Janet.
Bryan remains positive despite ongoing treatment for Ewing's Sarcoma, a bone cancer. Among the reasons to be grateful - a readily available blood supply when he needs transfusions during treatment.
"It's very important because you never know when you are going to need blood," explains Janet. "It costs the donor nothing, but it means so much to the people they are helping."
By the Book
Many blood and platelet donors ask why they are required to read blood donation materials each time they donate. These materials are part of a thorough process that helps ensure donor and patient safety is protected.
The reading materials keep donors informed of the often-changing requirements for donating blood or platelets and allow donors an opportunity to evaluate whether they are eligible before entering the donation process.
One of the most recent updates is an indefinite deferral from blood donation for any donor who has been diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. This precautionary step has been taken to reduce the risk of a virus associated with the disease potentially being transmitted to a patient through a blood transfusion.
If donors have any questions, they can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information.
I'm making an appointment to give blood during Red Cross Month! Will you?
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National Women's History Month
March is National Women's History Month! It's a month set aside to celebrate the achievements, leadership, courage, strength and love of the women who helped build America. In 1881, a courageous woman saw the suffering of others in wartime and began a movement to help. The American Red Cross was founded by Clara Barton, who led the organization for its first 23 years. Click here to learn more about Clara Barton and the history of the American Red Cross.
Celebrate volunteerism by donating blood
In honor of National Volunteer Week (April 10 – 16), the American Red Cross thanks blood donors who give of themselves and encourages others to strengthen our nation's blood supply by volunteering to donate.
Each year, 3.5 million volunteers donate more than six million pints of blood through the Red Cross. By volunteering time with your local Red Cross, you will contribute to your community's blood supply and change lives, starting with your own.
Make a difference today! Click here to schedule a blood donation appointment or to find out about volunteer opportunities near you.
Thank you for spreading the word!
Thanks to all of the American Red Cross donors who forwarded the January eNewsletter to at least five friends and helped spread the word about the Red Cross and blood donation!
Kristi Schirmer from Kearney, Neb., is the January eNewsletter raffle winner of a Red Cross umbrella.
You could be a winner this month. Everyone who forwards this eNewsletter to at least five people using the "Send to a Friend" feature above will automatically be entered into a raffle to win our popular Vintage T-shirt in a natural khaki color with green stitching.
Sounding Off: I give because so many gave
We wish we could list all the great feedback we get from donors, but there's only so much room. Here's one response from a Vietnam veteran:
"I was in need of many transfusions after being wounded. I can do no less than to repay my fellow man than to donate. It is a simple procedure with an everlasting reward. I see the need all around us every day, and to know that I can help in my small way is a good feeling!