Red Cross Month

Red+Cross+Month

Bailey Ballard

Red Cross Month has been an annual tradition since 1943 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued the first Red Cross Month proclamation. The whole month of March centers around celebrating those who show compassion by donating blood or raising awareness.

According to the American Red Cross, there are multiple ways to celebrate Red Cross Month including donating money on March 24 for Red Cross Giving Day, volunteering at a local blood drive, learning life saving skills or donating blood if there is a blood drive near you.

“I just think it’s a really good cause,”said Anna Matthews, a blood drive club member. “There’s so many uses for blood and donating can go a long way to save someone’s life.”

According to the American Red Cross, approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed everyday in the United States. One donation of blood can potentially save three lives.

“Your blood doesn’t change with age but your immune system does,” said Charlotte Nemec, Blood Drive Club president. “A younger person is more likely to fit the requirements to donate because they’re not on as likely to be on many medications and less likely to meet travel restrictions.”

The Blood Drive Club hosts blood drives throughout the school year in partnership with the American Red Cross Association. Anyone can volunteer or donate at a drive without being a member of the club.

Avid volunteer Elizabeth Cooper reported that volunteering at the blood drives helped her have the courage to also donate blood.

“I’m watching other people do it while I was volunteering, and I didn’t know how I was going to react afterward,” Cooper said. “I saved my donation for the last bit of time that I was volunteering. Just watching the process and knowing what was going to happen helped a lot. It encouraged me to push myself because I saw with my own eyes that it was for a good cause.”

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Blood Drive Club is not doing an event to celebrate Red Cross Month, however, they do encourage everyone to look at the American Red Cross website to find a place to volunteer or donate for the cause.

“Remember to check the Red Cross website for ways to participate and prepare before you donate,” Nemec said. “Drink plenty of water, set aside time and bring something to distract yourself if you are squeamish. The phlebotomist is always there to help you out. So you’re in good hands when you donate.”

The Blood Drive Club plans to host their next blood drive in mid-April off campus. They invite everyone to come out to volunteer or donate.

To join the Blood Drive Club, email [email protected] To volunteer, students may register on Give Pulse or contact the club through email.