Every January is National Blood Donor Month, a time to celebrate the life-saving power of giving blood. It’s a great reminder that donating blood can truly make a difference in someone’s life. But did you know that you don’t have to wait until the new year to start giving? Read on to learn more about the benefits of donating blood and why you should give year-round. 

The Need for Blood is Constant 

Approximately 5 million Americans need donated blood each year, which means there is always a need for donors. Unfortunately, only 38% of the population is eligible to donate, so those who are able must do their part to help ensure an adequate supply. If you meet the criteria for donation, it’s important that you don’t just give during National Blood Donor Month — give throughout the year! 

Benefits of Donating Blood 

When you donate blood, not only are you helping to save lives — but there are health benefits as well! When your body replenishes the lost red blood cells after donation, it produces new ones. This process helps keep your iron levels balanced and keeps your body feeling energized! Additionally, donating regularly can reduce your risk for certain cancers and heart disease by eliminating iron overload in the body. 

Donating also gives many people a sense of purpose and fulfillment. Knowing that something as simple as giving blood can help save lives provides many with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction that comes from helping others in need.                       

What You Need To Know Before Donating 

Before donating blood, it’s important to make sure you meet all criteria set forth by FDA guidelines. Those include being at least 17 years old (or 16 with parental consent), weighing 110 pounds or more, being in general good health (free from any cold or flu symptoms), and having not donated in the last 56 days if male or 84 days if female. There may also be additional tests conducted before being approved for donation such as height/weight measurements and checking your hemoglobin level.               

Donating blood is one small way we can all make a big impact on our communities and beyond! So start 2023 off right by giving back throughout the year — not just during National Blood Donor Month — because every drop counts! Whether it’s your first time donating or your 10th time donating this year, remember that every gift makes an amazing difference in someone’s life when they need it most! Remember to check with your local donor center first before scheduling an appointment to ensure that they have availability for donations when needed – happy giving!