Editorial: Save lives and donate blood

It hurts for a second, but the gift you give can last a lifetime.

With one blood donation potentially helping to save up to three lives, as many as 2,250 lives could be impacted as a result of an 11-state partnership in June, between the American Red Cross and energy provider Suburban Propane.

The month-long “Fuel Your Community” campaign aimed to raise awareness among Suburban Propane employees, customers and the population as a whole about the need for donated blood, which is essential for patient care at area hospitals.

Suburban Propane is based in Derby.

Providing support through promotion, a $200 Visa gift card raffle and blood drive sponsorship, Suburban Propane employees rolled up their sleeves to donate blood, volunteered at 38 blood drives from Maine to South Carolina and helped to collect more than 750 blood donations, many of them from first-time donors.

“To fulfill our mission, the Red Cross depends on the support of organizations and individual blood donors,” said Jeff Meyer, CEO, Massachusetts and Connecticut Blood Services Regions. “Suburban Propane and its employees and volunteers continue to show their dedication and passion for giving back to the communities they serve. With each campaign, the strong support from Suburban Propane helps ensure that blood is available for cancer patients, those fighting blood diseases, trauma victims and other patients.”

More donations through summer

The American Red Cross continues to have an urgent need for blood donors of all blood types to give before the Labor Day holiday. Donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially needed.

Blood donations often decline during the summer months, particularly around summer holidays. With school starting back up and summer activities coming to an end, there is still time for eligible donors to make a difference in the lives of patients this summer.

To encourage donations over the Labor Day holiday weekend, all donors who come out to donate blood Aug. 30 through Sept. 1, will receive a Red Cross mason jar tumbler, while supplies last.

To learn more and make an appointment to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation include:

•Shelton,  Dianon Systems, 1 Forest Parkway, Aug. 26, 7-12:45 p.m.

•Derby, Griffin Hospital, 130 Division Street, Sept. 5, 7:30-12:30 p.m.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. When speaking with an operator, they can tell you blood drives in an area close to you.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.