Red Cross to Observe National Blood Donor Month

Georgians will be among the thousands of blood donors honored the American Red Cross throughout January, for their generous annual blood donations.

The month of January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month, to raise awareness during the time of year when blood supplies often fall to their lowest levels, according to a press release issued the American Red Cross.

"Donations traditionally decline during the post-holiday season, due to busy schedules, and inclement weather, which can prevent people from keeping donation appointments," American Red Cross officials said in a press statement.

"At the same time, the need for blood remains constant in the early months of the year," the media statement said.

"People should make giving blood their New Years resolution," said Tracye Bryant, communications manager for the Southern Blood Services region for the American Red Cross.

According to the advisory, National Blood Donor Month not only gives credit to those who give blood every year, but it also educates and encourages new donors about the importance of giving blood.

"Giving blood is a way to support the community helping to ensure that a stable inventory is available for premature babies, cancer patients, or the many people who suffer accidents and other illnesses which may require transfusions," the release explained.

The American Red Cross has two promotions to push its blood donation initiative. "Fly into the Holidays with Delta" will take place through Dec. 31, and "Take to the Skies" will take place Jan. 1, through March 31. The campaigns give each person who presents to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross, an opportunity to enter a drawing, for the chance to win one of two pairs of round-trip Delta Air Lines domestic tickets.

"This year, you can make a difference. All it takes is your willingness to help someone in need, and a pint of your blood," the release stated.

According to the Red Cross, most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets.

All eligible donors are asked to schedule an appointment to donate blood, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or visiting www.redcrossblood.org.