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January 4, 2005 > When you see the red wrist band say thanks for saving lives

When you see the red wrist band say thanks for saving lives

Red Cross thanks donors during annual Donor Month

by Sara O'Brien

Red is the color of the precious gift of blood, and the American Red Cross Blood Services, Northern California Region, will begin giving out red wrist bands to blood donors in January. The wrist bands, similar to the yellow bands to support programs for those living with cancer, are imprinted with the words "Give blood" and "American Red Cross 1-800-GIVE-LIFE." They will be available in English and Spanish.

The American Red Cross plans to distribute the bands to donors at centers and mobile drives in honor of National Volunteer Blood Donor Month. Each year January is proclaimed by the President as National Volunteer Blood Donor Month to encourage donors to give or pledge to give blood. The red wrist bands will only be given to blood donors and will not be for sale.

"We want to allow blood donors to show that they give the gift of life by wearing the red wrist band, said American Red Cross spokeswoman Sara O'Brien. "We want others to see the bands, to learn that the person wearing the band is saving lives by giving blood and in turn, promote more blood donations. Perhaps a donor will even be thanked by someone who needed blood."

More than 60% of the population is eligible to give blood, yet only 5% do so in the U.S. In Northern California, the number is even smaller, with only 2% giving blood.

Giving blood is easy, safe and takes approximately one hour. Most healthy people who are at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood every 56 days. Donors must bring appropriate identification such as a driver's license or an American Red Cross donor card. Donors should eat a light meal or snack and drink lots of fluids before donating blood. To schedule an appointment to donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit www.BeADonor.com.

 
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