By Mark Walker

On almost every day of the week, hundreds of Americans across the nation roll up their sleeves and get down to business.

In this case, the product these legions of volunteers deliver comes directly out of their arms as they give blood to bolster supplies and help ensure adequate supplies are available to health care providers.

An estimated 6.8 million Americans donate blood.

In recognition of their donations, the Washington State House and Senate this year unanimously approved a resolution designating December 18 as Blood Donor Day.

December 18 coincides with the 2017 derailment of an Amtrak commuter train near Olympia. An event that took three lives and injured 65 passengers, many of whom sought treatment at local hospitals.

“Within hours of the derailment, the Governor declared a state of emergency and activated the Emergency Operations Center at Camp Murray to coordinate the multi-agency response to the incident, which included the need for local blood centers to facilitate blood donations to treat injured passengers,” the resolution reads.

The American Red Cross was among many organizations providing support in the days that followed.

Read more about the Red Cross response: Honoring Victims, Survivors & Responders of the Amtrak Derailment

But the need for blood is constant. Every day, volunteer blood and platelet donors across the country are needed to help save lives.

As the pandemic wears on into the holiday season, blood donations remain essential to the health of our communities. The Red Cross needs the ongoing support of blood donors and blood drive hosts to ensure blood products are available for patients. If you are eligible and feeling well, please make an appointment today to give by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 800-RED-CROSS.

Dates to remember:

  • January is National Blood Donor Month – with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. World Blood Donor
  • Day is celebrated on June 14th

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