How To Help: Donate Blood

As the covid-19 situation continues to wreak havoc on lives around the globe, I have been thinking about how to help during this time. The range of problems and the degree of need is overwhelming, but I do believe each of us are uniquely positioned to help in some way. I’ll be sharing some ideas over the next few weeks. Below is a simple way that nearly anyone can help.

One of the easiest ways to help right now is to donate blood. Hospitals have a continual need for blood, but the pandemic has caused some unexpected swings in the blood supply. Blood donations began to drop as people began social distancing which led to a severe shortage of blood by mid-March. Fortunately, the shortage was publicized and led to a surge of blood donations. However, some fear that the initial surge will not repeat and will result in another severe shortage. Even the possibility of a shortage can be harmful as it causes doctors to ration blood (rather than do whatever is necessary for each and every patient).

Donating blood is a great way to help during this time, because it:

  • Is free.
  • Requires less time than most volunteering activities.
  • Does not require any thinking, skill, or effort.

I have never donated blood before, but it was easy to find a location and schedule a time on the Red Cross website. If you have questions about eligibility (based on health conditions, lifestyle, travel history, etc), give them a call before scheduling at 866-236-3276 (a live rep answered my call on a Sunday afternoon!).