Check out these surprising facts from the American Red Cross:
- Less than 10% of the population eligible to donate blood does so annually.
- Every 2 seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
- Each pint of blood donated can save more than one life.
- Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
- Blood cannot be manufactured. It only comes from generous donors.
For many years, we’ve held blood drives at the nursing home to encourage staff and volunteers to help save lives. A mobile unit comes right out to our facility, making the process easy and not intrusive.
Summer is a great time of year to schedule a blood drive. Regular donors are often busy with vacations and other summer activities, so extra donors are needed.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned about organizing a successful blood drive:
- Prior to the event, post information and “frequently asked questions” about blood donations. People are more eager to participate when they know the facts.
- Give enthusiastic, low-pressure, personal invitations to donate blood. One of the most common reasons people give for not donating is, “I never thought about it.”
- Set up a table for donor sign-ups and pass out free heart shaped cookies.
- Involve your residents by inviting them to register donors, pass out snacks and “I donated” stickers, or write thank you notes to donors.
- Encourage employees to “bring a buddy” and donate blood together.
- Enter the names of all donors into a prize drawing.
- Invite someone whose life has been touched by a blood donation to speak at a staff meeting.
- Create a challenge between departments or units to see who can recruit the most donors.
- List the names of all first-time donors in the employee newsletter.
- If at all possible, find people to cover for employees so they can donate while at work.
“The blood you donate gives someone another chance at life. One day that someone may be a close relative, a friend, a loved one–or even you!” (Red Cross)
Has your life been impacted by a blood transfusion? Please tell us your story in the comment section.