Give The Best Gift Ever
With the spirit of giving all around us, the Rhode Island Blood Center reminds the community of the importance of giving the ultimate gift this time of year – the gift of life. One blood donation can help save three people.
“The holidays can be challenging for blood donors because it’s a busy time – people are traveling, visiting family and friends, prepping for the holidays, so giving blood might be placed on the back burner,” says Kara LeBlanc, communications manager at Rhode Island Blood Center. Unfortunately, the patients and hospitals the center serves do not get a holiday break from needing life-saving donations. Over 200 donations are needed every single day, even the days the center is closed for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. It’s the only time of year where three holidays fall within a very short period of time, yet those 600 plus donations are still needed. “When there is a constant community call for something like blood, it can become easy to think someone else will take care of it, especially when our own lives are busy. We’re so thankful to everyone who makes it a priority to be sure saving lives is on their holiday list.”
According to RIBC, over 370,000 Rhode Islanders are eligible to donate blood, but only about five percent donate each year. Another challenge this time of year is when cold and flu season begin to ramp up and even fewer of those who donate are feeling up to it. “It’s even more imperative that those who are eligible and feeling well make the extra effort to come in, and if you’ve been wanting to try giving blood, now would be a great time.”
Blood is needed to help women and newborns during complications with childbirth; people battling cancer or undergoing chemotherapy; people who have suffered trauma from accidents, disasters, or severe burns; people with heart and kidney disease and blood disorders like sickle cell anemia; and individuals who need surgery and organ transplants.