January is known as Volunteer Blood Donor Month. According to the Red Cross, “It’s the month that presents the most challenges in recruiting people to give blood.”
The requirements for giving blood are you have to be at least 17 years of age, 16 in some states with parents’ consent, be in good general health and feeling well, and you must weigh at least 110 pounds.
If you decide you are going to donate, be sure to drink plenty of fluids on the day of, wear something comfortable (sleeveless or sleeves that can be easily rolled up above the elbow), maintain a healthy level of iron in your diet before donating (eat iron-rich foods the weeks prior), bring a list of medications you are taking, bring an ID and a friend, and relax.
There are several places to donate locally this month including:
- Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Jan. 11 from 8am – 5pm
- Southwestern Community College Burrell Building, Jan. 11 from 10am – 2:30pm
- Swain County Hospital, Jan. 17 from 10am – 7pm
- Harris Regional Hospital, Jan. 30 from 10am – 3pm
– EBCI WIC Program