Give the gift of life

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, January 10, 2018

According to information released by The Blood Center, blood donor numbers have fallen far below the average compared to other years. That fact has prompted the organization to encourage every Pearl River County citizen to donate blood.

While digging deeper into the situation, I learned blood donations annually decrease during this time of year due to inclement weather conditions in the north and increasing cases of the flu elsewhere in the country. Those two aspects have caused the number of donors to decrease further than the annual average.

I remember in high school and even college, Blood Assurance and the American Red Cross would come to campus and invite everyone who was interested to donate blood to do so. At the time, the two associations offered juice, cookies and a free T-shirt to those who donated.

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In high school, donating blood meant I also got out of having to attend class, whether that was gym, math, world history or any other subject I didn’t want to attend. Honestly, that was one reason I started donating blood. Looking back, I didn’t realize the importance of my efforts to skip class and still be excused. All the while, I was really providing a lifesaving substance to people who may have been severely injured during an accident or needed additional blood due to a necessary surgery.

When we donate blood we just know that our blood is going to help someone, but we never know the reason or destination. Even though we will never know who or why the blood was needed, keep in mind that your donation might one day help a neighbor, a friend or a loved one in need.

You will find it interesting that one blood donor is potentially able to help three people at once because the blood is separated into red cells, platelets and plasma. Most of the time, not every recipient is going to need all three of those components at once.

Donating blood is an easy process that takes less than an hour and everyone can participate in. So, find the time to give the gift of life to someone you