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Fostering a Workplace Culture of Giving Back Through Blood Donation

BY: Jackie Marschall, MPA // Public Information Officer • Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati

Did you know that, in America, someone urgently needs blood every two seconds? This need extends beyond unexpected emergencies, such as car crashes. It encompasses a wide range of medical treatments including cancer therapies, cardiovascular and orthopedic surgeries, and organ and bone marrow transplants.

Only three percent of eligible Americans currently donate blood, despite 65 percent of the population being eligible to do so. Additionally, less than 20 percent of blood donations come from people of color, and donations from individuals aged 19-24 have declined by nearly 32 percent from 2019 to 2021. This drop is largely attributed to the restrictions imposed on blood drives at school campuses and workplaces during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, blood donations are in high demand.

Host a Workplace Blood Drive: Support the Community in a Uniquely Satisfying Way

Hosting a blood drive at your business is an easy and gratifying way to demonstrate your commitment to civic responsibility and the community in which you live. Three lives could be saved with each unit of blood donated!

Start by collaborating with local blood banks, such as the Hoxworth Blood Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, or organizations specializing in blood drives in your area. America’s Blood Centers makes it easy to search for your community blood bank. Then, plan your own blood drive by scheduling a convenient date and setting up an area within the workplace for the donation process—This could be a designated indoor space or a flat surface parking lot for a mobile blood donation bus. Make sure to communicate the details effectively with employees, including providing information about eligibility, the donation process, and any necessary preparation.

Additionally, most blood banks will provide each host with a specific code to track donations for their organization. If an employee is unable to donate at the workplace blood drive, this code provides an opportunity to still donate under the given organization at a donor center or other blood drive near them. Be sure to ask for these specific details from your blood drive coordinator when setting up your drive.

Benefits Beyond Lifesaving: Fostering Community and Belonging

While the primary goal of a blood donation drive is to save lives, participating in such initiatives also fosters a sense of community and belonging among employees. Working together towards a common goal outside of regular work responsibilities builds connections, breaks down barriers, and creates a shared sense of purpose.

The Blood Donation Process

For those unfamiliar with the blood donation process, it’s a simple and safe procedure. Donors go through a brief screening to ensure eligibility, followed by the actual donation, which typically takes around 10-15 minutes. Afterward, donors are provide refreshments and snacks to replenish their energy. The entire process is efficient and well-managed, ensuring a positive experience for participants.

Given the current state of blood donations, there is an urgent need for younger, more diverse donors. In supporting blood donation initiatives, businesses not only fulfill a civic responsibility, but also nurture a workplace culture centered around shared values and a commitment to the well-being of the community. Every unit collected at a workplace blood drive has the potential to save lives, making the endeavor not just rewarding, but profoundly impactful.

Want More?

Embrace your inner superhero this January! National Blood Donor Month is your chance to make a real impact. Download the latest Well Balanced to learn more!

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Jackie Marschall
ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR Jackie Marschall, MPA // Public Information Officer • Hoxworth Blood Center, University of Cincinnati