Save lives, donate blood

A new year means new resolutions. As you think about goals for this year, take a minute and do something we typically don’t until the need arises: think about blood. It can’t be manufactured in a lab or grown on a farm. It comes from one source only, blood donors.

January is National Blood Donor Month, a time to recognize the altruism of donors who give voluntarily and without reward or expectation. If you ask blood donors why they donate, they might say, “Because a family member or friend needed blood,” or “Because it’s the right thing to do.” You don’t need a special reason to donate blood. You just need your reason.

Whatever your reason, the need for blood is constant. Only 2 percent of the population donates and 60 percent of Hawaii residents will need a blood transfusion at some time in their lives. Don’t let a busy schedule or fear of needles stop you from saving lives. If that was you or a loved one, wouldn’t you be grateful someone had donated blood to help? Why not be that person? Be a blood donor. Help Hawaii’s patients. You never know whose life you’ll save.

Donating blood may not be for everyone, but that’s why those who can donate should. If you’re at least 18 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and are in good health, there should be nothing stopping you from donating blood. Even if you’re 17 years old, you can donate blood with parental consent.

This year, resolve to give back to the community; one pint of blood can save up to three lives. Blood Bank of Hawaii will be collecting blood on Kauai in February and every other month yearlong. Schedule your appointment to donate blood by calling (800) 372-9966 or visiting BBH.org.

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Vanessa Sim is a communications specialist with the Blood Bank of Hawaii.

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