It’s the time of year where you’re making new habits and one that’s always a good idea is becoming a regular blood donor.
January is National Blood Donor Month, a commemoration which has been observed since the 1970s. Winter is always a difficult time of the year to get lifesaving blood donations for many reasons. In other parts of the U.S., inclement weather can keep people from making it to their blood drive or cause drives to get canceled. Also, many blood donations come from college campuses; so with universities being out for holiday break, the donations drop off as well. In addition, regular donors might come down with the flu or another illness, so they’re unable to keep their appointments.
That’s why this time of year – though it’s important all the time – it’s vital that you make a blood donation if you’re able and take your friends with you. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
If you still have questions about being eligible to give blood, the American Red Cross busts some common donor myths. The American Red Cross is hosting blood drives this week in Shawnee and Stillwater. The American Red Cross has a promotion now where a blood donor who gives by Sunday can be entered to win a trip to the NFL Super Bowl.
The Oklahoma Blood Institute is another place where you can donate. The OBI is having drives all over the metro this week, from Tinker Air Force Base to Newcastle Casino and even a stop downtown at the Bank of Oklahoma. If those events don’t work for your schedule, there are nine donor centers in the state.
The OBI has a promotion right now that blood donors can get a free long-sleeved t-shirt. But keep an eye out for other events where you can get free zoo passes or OKC Dodgers baseball game tickets.
And if a t-shirt, tickets, or a possible trip to the Super Bowl aren’t enough to get you in the donor chair, then go for that warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you know you’ve helped save someone’s life. Oh and the free snacks are good, too.