Seniors and retirees often have flexible schedules and are able to make and keep regular appointments with their local blood bank. These simple appointments—which take on average 8 to 10 minutes — make that donor an everyday hero.
“Every 12 seconds someone in the United States needs some sort of blood transfusion,” says Colleen O’Callaghan, a donor recruitment representative for the American Red Cross. “One donation can help up to three people.”
And no better time than in January, when the reserve of blood is critically low, O’Callaghan says.
Monica Stoneking, communications director for the American Red Cross, said she strongly encourages individuals with Type O blood to donate. Since O Negative blood type is the universal blood type, it becomes extremely important in an incidence where doctors don’t have time to test a patient for their blood type.
But do you think you are too old or a bit ill for the Red Cross to take your pint? Think again.
On the American Red Cross’s “Top 10 Reasons People Don’t Give Blood,” number 9 is “They won’t want my blood (I am too old/I’ve had an illness).”
If you’ve been putting off giving a pint or two because you think you aren’t “qualified,” it’s as easy as checking with your doctor. Also, the staff at the blood centers will review your medical history.
According to the Red Cross site: “There is no upper age limit to donate blood with the American Red Cross, and a great many medical conditions do not prevent you from donating blood, or may have done so only temporarily in the past.”
And, should you discover you can’t give blood, there are dozens of opportunities for volunteering with the Red Cross to help.
To find the closest location to donate, simply click here and enter your zip code in the box.
January Bonus for those living in The Red Cross’s Northeast Division! Give a pint, get a pound of Dunkin Donuts coffee! All eligible donors will also be entered for a chance to win Free Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee for a Year.