Donate : 100 Days to Save a Life
By Diamond Hunt-Coleman
With the summer months now here and college students on their way back home or to other summer destinations, The American Red Cross has started a new campaign entitled “100 Days of Summer, 100 Days of Hope.”
The campaign kicked off May 23 and will last until Sept. 1. It is focused on increasing blood donations during the summer months when donations typically drop. Patients need blood donations even more during the summer.
However, donation drives tend to see too fewer donors at each blood drive between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Students tend to constitute about 20 percent of all blood donations, which is one of the reasons this campaign started.
“This summer, there are 100 days for blood and platelet donors to roll up a sleeve and help a patient in need,” said Dr. Richard Benjamin, chief medical officer for the Red Cross. “It’s difficult to collect enough blood for patients during the summer because so many people are busy with seasonal activities and schools are out of session. But the need for blood is constant and patients are still relying on lifesaving blood products. ”
The American Red Cross asks for more donors to donate during the summer months because as more people are getting active during the summer – and hitting the amusement parks and leaving for vacation – the need for blood increases due to the increase in activity.
This campaign is about more than just donating blood. It is about raising awareness for those who benefit from blood transfusions.
“I have family members that need blood transfusions on a regular basis,” said Jillian Sanders, a former donor and current recipient of blood transfusions. “I donate because I see what they go through and this is my way of helping them and others. It is a selfish and selfless act.”
With Tallahassee being the home to a Historically Black University, it is also the home to diseases such as leukemia and sickle cell anemia. Tallahassee residents are hoping this campaign will bring in more donors, but more importantly they are hoping the campaign will bring awareness to diseases that affect the people of their community.
“The campaign can help a lot more people during the summer months and even during the rest of the year when donation levels are high,” Sanders said. “Tallahassee is populated with a lot more African-Americans that need blood transfusions, especially women because they are the leading population for sickle cell and the sickle cell trait.”
The Red Cross needs to collect about 15,000 donations a day, including in the summer months, to have enough blood to help patients in hospitals across the country. To find a donation center or blood drive near you, visit www.redcross.org.