Written by Katie Lawson , Staff Writer, RedCross.org

Tuesday, January 24, 2006 — In an effort to avoid usual blood shortages in the winter months, blood service providers have designated January as Volunteer Blood Donor month. This year, the American Red Cross is inviting those who have never donated to become first-time donors while encouraging those who have made given blood in the past to become regular donors.

A Good Time to Give

Every two seconds in the United States, someone needs blood. Whether it is used to help an accident victim, an organ donor recipient or a patient with cancer, more than 38,000 blood donations are needed in hospitals every day around the country.

There is never a bad time to donate blood; however, there are times when donations – particularly new volunteer donors – are needed all the more. The winter months usually bring a general shortage of donors. Many people find themselves traveling for the holidays, out of their normal routine and unable to donate. Others may be affected by illness or inclement weather.

To be eligible to give blood, you must be a healthy individual over the age of 17, who has not donated in the past eight weeks (56 days) and weigh at least 110 pounds. That means, if you began giving blood at the age of 17 and donated every 56 days until the age of 76, you would have donated 48 gallons of blood and potentially helped save more than 1,000 lives! Donors who contribute regularly often say they do so because they want to help others. Remember, because blood cannot be manufactured, there is no substitute – it must come through generous voluntary donors.

Full article is here…