Danae Taylor, Freeman Volunteer Services and Gift Shop Manager
It’s the season when people are setting goals and resolutions for themselves.
This year consider helping your community by donating blood. Every two seconds, someone in the US needs blood and/or platelets. Blood is essential for helping treat patients who undergo surgeries, cancer treatment or experience traumatic injuries. Although the need for blood donation is great, only 37% of the US population is eligible to donate, and less than 3% do.
Freeman Auxiliary works with Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) by hosting mobile blood drives routinely throughout the year. CBCO is responsible for providing blood to 44 local hospitals (including Freeman) in 40 counties and needs to collect 200 – 250 units every day to meet their needs.
January was designated as National Blood Donor Month (NBDM) by President Richard Nixon in December 1969. The designation recognizes donors and encourages new ones to donate. January is also a time when blood centers typically see less donations. Causes range from people being busy during the holidays, getting sick during cold and flu season or blood drives being canceled due to inclement weather.
On average, eligible donors give two times or less per year when they could donate once every 56 days, which is up to six times in a year. According to CBCO, if those one-time donors gave just one more time a year, local hospitals would have over 17,700 additional units of blood available to help patients!
To encourage people to donate more this year, CBCO is bringing back the 56-Day Challenge. Last year’s challenge ran from January to April and donors could win a $1,000 VISA gift card. This year donors have the opportunity to win up to $15,000 in VISA gift cards.
"Thanks to the generous donations from Adam Swenka Team at Flat Branch Home Loan and The Giving Branch, we are able to make the challenge even bigger and better this year and reward some lucky donors who go above and beyond by donating more than the average blood donor," said Michelle Teter, CBCO Media Relations representative.
How the Challenge Works:
Donate blood, plasma or platelets at any CBCO blood drive or donor center in January. The next Freeman Blood Drive is 9:00 am – 5:00 pm Friday, January 20, at Freeman Hospital West, Conference Rooms 1W – 4W. Donors will receive a free hoodie while supplies last.
Donors can then commit to take the 56-Day Challenge by filling out and completing the form by February 28.
Donors who then make a second donation by April 6 at any CBCO blood drive or donor center will be entered to win a $1,000 VISA gift card.
Those who donate throughout the year by the deadlines, will have chances to win $2,000, $3,000, $4,000 and $5,000 Visa gift cards. And yes, a donor could win more than once. Learn more about the challenge at www.cbco.org/56day.
Commit to the challenge at the January Freeman Blood Drive. Appointments are strongly encouraged to manage donor flow. Schedule your appointment here. Photo identification is required. Please eat well and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating.