January is National Blood Donor Month, and regardless of what products you stock store fixtures with, your business can get involved.
If you’ve thought about taking on a charitable project with your team of employees, consider supporting a local blood drive.
Why should your customers donate blood?
People require blood transfusions for a variety of reasons, from cancer treatments and organ transplants to serious injuries from car accidents and fires. Anyone could suddenly need blood at the drop of a hat, which is why constant donations are important. In fact, the Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals explained that roughly 39,000 pints of blood are used around the country each day.
According to the Red Cross, the winter often brings a blood shortage, which is caused by the increased frequency of illness, the poor weather conditions and the holiday season. Blood drives may be canceled due to inclement weather, leaving the organization with insufficient resources.
What can you do to help?
Depending on how much time, manpower and money you want to provide, there are different ways for you to get involved.
To host a blood drive, you need to secure a donation space, advertise the event and call donors to schedule appointments. The Red Cross then shows up with all of the necessary supplies to screen potential donors and collect the pints. Its staff will also provide organizational guidance and recruitment advice to the host and volunteers. Additionally, there should be food and beverages for the donors to eat if their blood sugar is low.
Consider if you want to organize your own blood drive, partner with a few surrounding businesses or find an upcoming drive to offer resources to. Perhaps you want to have a telethon, where the employees hang out after hours and call donors while snacking on pizza. Alternatively, you could donate the necessary snacks to the drive. If you have many employees, gather several people who are interested and qualified to donate blood. One of the most vital tasks you can take on is promoting the drive.
How can you advertise the drive?
Each time a customer makes a purchase in your store, there’s an opportunity to publicize the blood drive. Mentioning your involvement and providing information on how they can make a donation shows your dedication to the community and helping others while securing more blood for the Red Cross. Distributing fliers or business cards with the hosts’ contact information and details of the drive at the cash register can be helpful and effective.
When it comes to your store’s online presence, you can use your social media pages to spread the word. With these platforms, you can link to informational sites about blood donation and explain how to sign up for an appointment at an upcoming drive. You may want to include a blurb about the cause in your newsletter, if you email one.
Don’t forget to include information about the blood drive somewhere in your store displays, perhaps on the street-facing windows. Print the details on a poster and use paint to write an attention-grabbing fact on the glass, like “One pint can save three people.”