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Celebrating National Blood Donor Month

Celebrating National Blood Donor Month

It’s officially January, which means it’s the month of beginnings in the new year, a cold winter and of course Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But did you know January also has a significant impact for those in need? That’s right—January is recognized as National Blood Donor Month. According to the American Red Cross, in the United States alone, someone is in need of blood every two seconds. That factors out to about every one in seven people who enter a hospital.

Yet despite the significant need for blood donations, few people actually take steps toward making a difference. Although an estimated 38% of the U.S. population are eligible to donate blood, less than 10% actually do. During the winter months especially, donation shortages can become a serious issue. With cold weather, busy holiday schedules and increases in sickness, January can deter even the most dedicated of donors. This has a severely negative impact, causing issues such as blood shortages, especially during a season with risk of accidents.

When January was declared National Blood Donor Month in 1970, its purpose was to recognize current blood donors for their giving, attract new donors and bring awareness to an issue which affects all of us. With 2018 underway, how can you celebrate National Blood Donor Month? Check out a few ideas for how you can roll up a sleeve and give through January and the year.

1. Find out if you’re eligible.
Most importantly, the first step in celebrating National Blood Donor Month is to find out if you’re eligible to donate. According to the American Red Cross, the eligibility requirements for donating include: (1) be of 17 years or older; (2) weigh at least 110 pounds; (3) be in good general health and feel well on the day of donation. Depending on where you donate, eligibility requirements may fluctuate. When donating whole blood, donors can give every 56 days, or every eight weeks. If you choose to donate blood platelets, plasma or power red, eligibility requirements and donation frequency fluctuates as well. Check with your donation bank or a local blood drive to be certain of your eligibility and frequency requirements.

2. Decide on a location.
There are two main ways to donate blood: either through a local blood bank or a national supplier. National suppliers of blood, like the American Red Cross, collect blood from all across the country, then redistribute it to areas in need. According to their website, the Red Cross collects approximately 40% of the nation’s blood supply and distributes it to about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the United States. This means that if you donate blood in North Dakota, your contribution could go to help disaster relief efforts in Texas.

Local blood banks are just that: local. Community blood banks typically collect less blood from a smaller population area, but then use that blood within a localized geographic region. So if you give to a blood bank in your community, you can feel confident that your donation is going to help somewhere near you, perhaps even a neighbor, friend or family member. Deciding on where you want to donate is a great step in giving this January. Maybe you don’t particularly care, as long as someone receives the blood. Maybe you care a lot, and decide based on your convictions. No matter what you decide, you can make a valuable contribution for others either closeby or far away.

3. Conquer your fears.
The number one reason people say they donate blood is because they “want to help others.” On the other hand, two of the most common reasons for not donating are “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.” All in all, the entire donation process—from registration to cookies—takes approximately one hour, with less than a minute of that time consisting of a needle poke. If needles tend to be an anxiety of yours, consider this: one minute of discomfort can make a world of difference for someone else in need. Your single donation can save up to three lives. That sounds like a pretty great reason to conquer your fears.

This January, celebrate National Blood Donor Month by taking steps to go out, roll up your sleeve and give. Set the tone for the month and the rest of the year to live more altruistically.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Dear Clients & Supporters,

As you may have heard, our office in Pueblo was maliciously vandalized by an unidentified gunman, just after midnight on the evening of June 2nd.

Footage from our security cameras shows an initially calm scene, before what appears to be a man walking by nonchalantly, hands tucked in pockets, suddenly stopping and turning to withdraw a firearm. The gunman then starts dashing, firing shot after shot directly at our storefront.

This person and their weapon have caused immense harm. Financially, the estimated damage exceeds $25,000. The same bullets that shattered glass and pierced through walls have wounded our hearts. However, the cost of this emotional damage cannot be measured in dollars. If there is a silver lining, it’s that nobody was physically hurt - or worse. For that, we’re eternally grateful.

To be clear, this individual and this destructive act, are not linked to the Black Lives Matter movement or protests of any kind. Unfortunately, we believe this anger to be rooted locally in a conflict between a tenant and their disgruntled clients.

In the wake of the ongoing pandemic and riots spurred by civil unrest nationwide, we know things are uncomfortable right now. We know people are upset and hurting. We're hurting too.

As much as it pains us to board up these windows and doors and close our building, we have no other choice but to do so until we can get them fixed. Despite our office being closed, rest assured, we are still working.

While the need for our services grows, so does our need for your support. In fact, we need you now more than ever. Whether it's time or a monetary donation, anything you can do to help us continue promoting healthy, vibrant neighborhoods across Southern Colorado is not only sincerely appreciated; it's vital to actualizing our mutual goals as a community. You can make your contribution, securely and conveniently online at https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/donate.html or to submit interest in volunteering please visit https://nwsoco.org/how-to-help/volunteer.html.

We want you to know, we will be back, and we will continue to fight for a better Southern Colorado. To get there, more of us need to change. Amidst these changes, one thing will remain certain: our commitment to serving you and the entire Southern Colorado community.

The pain we feel now will pass, just like the time we have with those we love. Remember to take care of each other. If this unprecedented time has taught us anything, it’s that we need each other more than we could have ever known.


SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

A Message about Our Services in Light of Coronavirus (COVID-19) – UPDATED 06/09/2020

NeighborWorks Southern Colorado cares about the health and safety of our customers, staff, and community partners. Out of an abundance of caution, we are suspending in-person workshops and counseling appointments temporarily. We will continue to provide homebuyer education and counseling services virtually, and you can reach our employees by phone or email. We will not be receiving visitors to our office until further notice.

We are in the process of contacting customers registered for our Homebuyer Education Workshops or scheduled for an in-person counseling appointment to make other arrangements. If you need to reach us, please call (719) 544-8078.

We are monitoring the news closely and taking advantage of this time to do updates and upgrades to our building to better serve you when we re-open; we will post updates about our services to this website. Thank you for choosing NeighborWorks Southern Colorado as your trusted partner and first choice for homebuyer resources in Southern Colorado.

06/09/2020

Please take precautionary measures... Be safe and stay healthy

Our Impact in 2019

  • Attended Group & Online Classes

    1154

  • New Homeowners

    641

  • Dollars Invested Into Communities

    125,400,000

  • Dollars in Mortgage Loans Originated

    2,700,000

  • Dollars in Small Business Lending

    150,000

  • Homes Built & Sold

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