Give to the less fortunate: donate

Published 7:40 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

‘Tis the season for giving. As we all know, a major component of the holiday season is giving, often coming in the form of giving presents to loved ones. Along with presenting gifts to family and friends, some choose to give to the less fortunate by collecting toys for a toy drive or giving their free time by volunteering at a soup kitchen or a children’s hospital.

But that’s not all that can be given. Donating blood is a fantastic way to give and provide something for someone who truly needs it. Your blood is needed, as according to the American Red Cross, the humanitarian organization is facing a severe blood shortage and could use as many blood donors as possible.

The American Red Cross says donations often decline during the winter holidays as many groups postpone blood drives while regular donors are busy with holiday activities. Fewer blood drives this past September and October coupled with hurricanes Michael and Florence, which caused thousands of blood and platelet donations to go uncollected, make blood donors critically needed to prevent the shortage from worsening this winter.

Eliminating the blood shortage is so important because every two seconds someone in the U.S. is in need of blood, as it is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries, according to the American Red Cross. And blood and platelets can’t be manufactured; they can only come from volunteer donors. If you choose to make a blood donation, know you will be making a difference, as a single donation can potentially save up to three lives.

While you may have already wrapped up your Christmas shopping, there’s still one more gift you can give, and it’s free of charge. Make your way to the American Red Cross Blood Drive being held today at Washington’s First United Methodist Church at 304 W. Second St. from 1 to 6 p.m. It’s a gift that will make a difference in somebody’s life, and it might be your own family or friends who will be in need someday. To register in advance, visit For more information, call 252-833-0657.