Blood Donation Crisis Hits the Nation

On January 11, the American Red Cross declared the first national blood crisis in history.


Cayla Peacher

Donating blood to those in need can help the national blood shortage come to a halt.

Madeline Clark and Cayla Peacher

Currently, America is facing a national blood crisis. On January 11, the American Red Cross declared the first-ever national blood crisis. The shortage is partially a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to uncertainty about the pandemic, blood donation centers are taking extensive measures to ensure the safety of donors. In past years, local blood drives were held within GEHS but have since come to a pause. 

“We canceled the one in the fall…I think the issue was the uncertainty of all the people coming into the building,” administrative intern and Activities Director Michael Simpson said. “We’ve asked about the spring one and [the blood drive organizers] haven’t gotten back to us yet.”

Every day, blood donors have the opportunity to help hundreds of patients of all ages. Blood is necessary for accidents, burn victims, heart surgery, organ transplants, those battling cancer, and other injuries and diseases. A blood donation of just one person can save the lives of hundreds of people. 

“[Having a school blood drive helps ensure] that if you do it and you have a good experience [donating blood], then you start a habit of wanting to do it,” Simpson said. “We create in our students the desire to do that once they leave school. It’s really important we get [a blood drive] going in the school.”

The American Red Cross has created an opportunity for people all over the nation to create and promote their own blood drive campaign called SleevesUp. Local blood drive locations are offering a ten-dollar Amazon gift card to anyone who donates blood, like Divine Mercy Parish in Gardner.

“Blood drives are fun, I try to give blood [often],” Simpson said. “I give platelets. I can only do that once every eight weeks, so I try and do it once about every third month.”


Different types of patients to donate to and their blood types

Information on how to create and set up a SleevesUp campaign

Schedule an appointment to donate blood

Further information about COVID safety precautions while donating blood