I'm a regular blood donor and last Friday I made my pilgrimage to the American Red Cross's Columbia donor facility. When I called to schedule my appointment, they expressed sincere gratitude due to a drastic shortage in this area. So why does it seem like they are always in a blood donation crisis?
According to the Red Cross's website, donations are down more than 10% and the blood supply has reached emergency levels. This shortfall is attributed to several factors including an unseasonably early start to spring and this year's mid-week July 4th holiday. This is always a difficult time of year for blood donations due to vacations and summer activities, but this year the Red Cross has received 50,000 fewer donations than expected in June leaving them with half of the blood products on hand than this time last year. Unfortunately, people needing blood products don't take a vacation…every two seconds someone in the US needs a blood transfusion.
That's why the Red Cross desperately needs all eligible donors to roll up your sleeves and give as soon as possible. Lives depend on it.
For information on how and where to donate, go to redcrossblood.org and see how you can help.