This paid content was created in partnership with the American Red Cross. Many may not realize just how important the letters A, B and O can be until they’re gone. For a hospital patient who needs Type A, B or O blood, those letters mean life.
Donating blood seems like one of those “shoulds” that can sink to the bottom of your to-do list, forever.
It wasn’t until the American Red Cross reached out to team up with us on a campaign that I realized how dire the need is right now.
There is a steep decline happening nationwide with donations – I’m talking 80,000 fewer new donors per year. Take that alongside the fact that someone in the U.S. needs blood for treatment every 2 seconds, and you can imagine how real the need is.
Blood shortages can and do happen. It’s up to all of us to prevent that from happening.
Here are 5 things you probably didn’t know about how easy it is to donate blood in Charlotte.
(1) Start by finding a donation site or a drive. You just pop in your zip code here and you’ll find pre-scheduled drives close to your house/work, or head to the Charlotte Blood Donation Center on Park Road (basically across the street from Dilworth’s Not Just Coffee). They have a range of hours on both weekdays (including several evenings) and weekends to make it super convenient for busy schedules.
(2) You can make an appointment OR you can walk in at the Charlotte Blood Donation Center. You know those awkward times between meetings when you sit in a Starbucks and scroll through Instagram? Use that hour to save a life next time (and you can still scroll Instagram while you donate, lol). There is abundant free parking.
(3) You can answer all the prep questions online in advance so that you’re in and out even more quickly. Just go to redcrossblood.org/rapidpass to get started.
(4) If you want to make donating a habit (you should), it’s worth it to get the American Red Cross app. You can track where your specific donation is going, track your donation history, schedule appointments and find information on current travel restrictions.
(5) You do not need to know your blood type to donate. I am apparently one of the 53% of Americans who thought you needed to know in advance. You don’t. They’ll actually send you a donor card after you donate that has it listed.
I knew I wanted to donate blood as part of the Missing Types movement this summer – and obviously to write this story – but it wasn’t until I was getting up to leave and my nurse, Holly, said, “Thank you – you just saved up to three lives” that it really hit home…
That might’ve just been the highest impact 45 minutes I spent all week.
For a hospital patient who needs Type A, B or O blood, those letters mean life. You are the missing type. And patients need you. Find a donation site near you.
This paid content was created in partnership with the American Red Cross.