10 reasons to donate blood

Article published Nov 26, 2014
10 reasons to donate blood
By Steve Costello
Two years ago, I produced a list of 100 reasons to donate blood at the Gift-of-Life Marathon. The list was filled with serious (you’ll be a hero) and not-so-serious (you might get on TV) reasons. 

This year, with the national blood drive record in the books and a whole new format designed to alleviate the logistical challenges of a mammoth one-day drive, we are making the event a life-giving celebration of the greater Rutland community, with 12 opportunities to participate across the region.

The sense of urgency connected to the national record goal may have played a big part for many donors last year. But with that goal accomplished, the need for blood remains important during this holiday season, so here’s a list of 10 significant reasons to make an appointment for this year’s drive by calling 800-RED-CROSS or visiting

10. Most people need blood at some time. Look around at your friends, family, classmates or co-workers. Six in 10 of them will need a blood transfusion some day.

9. Barely 5 percent of Americans ever donate. In Rutland, we have a donation rate nearly four times the average, but still, only one in five donates blood regularly.

8. One pint can help up to three people. How often can you help three people through one simple act?

7. Twenty percent of blood recipients are children. Your donation could affect generations, including a child, her siblings, parents and grandparents.

6. Blood can’t be manufactured. There is no substitute for people like you.

5. Supplies always drop around the holidays. But because people continue to have babies, cancer treatments, accidents and surgeries that require blood, the need never disappears.

4. Someone in America needs blood every six seconds. In the time it takes to read this, 15 or 16 people will need blood.

3. You’ll get a free mini-physical. A few years ago, a potential GOLM donor was told to go immediately to the hospital due to extremely high blood pressure. He did, and was diagnosed with heart disease that required bypass surgery to save his life.

2. We’re asking you. You. Most people who don’t donate blood say no one ever asked them.

1. The top reason to donate blood during the Gift-of-Life Marathon 12 Days of Giving? You will help save at least one life. What could be more important, or meaningful, than that?

Steve Costello is a vice president at Green Mountain Power, which along with Castleton College and WJJR, sponsors and organizes the Gift-of-Life Marathon.