Educate your community about seniors and blood donation this January

Start 2018 off right with a community action campaign for National Blood Donor Month.

Since 1970, January has been declared National Volunteer Blood Donor Month, and with good reason. Above all other times of the year, it’s the month that presents the most challenges in recruiting people to give blood. When combined with holiday accidents, a drop in donations as people bustle through the season can strain blood supplies.

The need for blood, platelets and plasma is constant, but only three in every 100 Americans donates blood. Start an information campaign and brand your agency as a local leader in this important community service.

  • Many  incorrectly assume that people can simply be too old to donate blood. Visit senior centers in your coverage area and educate them about blood donation, focusing on the myth of a blood donation age restriction. Barring the presence of certain medical conditions, people of any age can donate. Learn more about the topic here and here. Contact all your local newspapers and radio and TV stations to further spread awareness of this issue and your place as a health advocate for seniors and for your community.
  • Work with your local branch of the American Red Cross and volunteer a clinician to go to blood drives. Set them up at an Ask-A-Nurse consultation table and brand your agency as a community resource of health and safety information. Have plenty of collateral to pass out from your agency and your partner providers in the community. You can even ask a local hospital representative to help you man your table; it is a great co-marketing opportunity.
  • Consider becoming a permanent Red Cross instructor this year. Lots of your referral source sectors need CPR/First Aid/AED training every year.
  • Sponsor an onsite open bloodmobile blood drive at your agency. Invite your agency’s employees and their families as a start.
  • Bake goodies for your local blood drives. The donors need to eat after they give blood. And you can be really creative in getting your marketing messages out to the donating public by wrapping your cookies and treats in informative packaging.
  • Contact your local Red Cross and sponsor or co-sponsor 3 to 4 blood drives this year along with some of your area hospitals and physician’s offices.