Many blood donors report making their first blood donation while in high school. High school and college students account for about 20 percent of all blood donations to the Red Cross. Individuals can begin donating at 17 years old, or 16 in some states, and continue to donate as long as they meet eligibility requirements.
Blood donations often decline during the winter holidays when school is not in session. The Red Cross is offering 16- to 24-year-old students currently enrolled in school a way to help overcome this seasonal decline and have a chance to win a college scholarship. Students who sponsor a successful blood drive between Dec. 15, 2014, and Jan. 15, 2015, through the Leaders Save Lives program will be entered to win a college scholarship and will receive a gift card. More information is available at redcrossblood.org/leaderssavelives.
Donors are needed year-round, particularly those with types O negative, A negative and B negative blood. Those who attempt to donate in October will be entered to win a $5,000 Visa gift card, courtesy of Suburban Propane.
To make an appointment to donate blood, eligible donors are encouraged to download the new Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores or text BLOODAPP to 90999 to receive a download link, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).