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January toughest month for blood supplies

January 2, 2019
January is a month filled with new goals, resolutions and hopeful beginnings. It is also National Blood Donor Month, and Vitalant is paying tribute to its dedicated donors and encouraging people to save the lives of others by donating blood throughout the month.

To reinforce the effort, Vitalant’s three spokes-animals, an Instagram-famous cat, a French bulldog and a tiny-but-mighty hedgehog, are coming together to encourage people to help others this month through the simple act of donating blood as part of their “Save the Humans” campaign.

“Happy 2019 humans! Your furry friends want you to start your new year off on the right foot by becoming a life-saver through the simple act of donating blood. We love you and need our best friends around,” said Coby, the effort’s Instagram-famous spokescat.

The month of January is one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood to meet the needs of communities. Cold and snowy weather can lead to the cancellation of blood drives and donors often become too sick to donate due to cold and flu season.

“There is a constant need for blood - in fact, a minimum of 200 blood donations are needed each day to meet the needs of people just in the Inland Northwest,” said President Jeff Bryant of Vitalant’s North Division. “National Blood Donor Month is a critical time for people to donate, and we hope that people of all ages will start the New Year by realizing their life-transforming potential of giving blood. These vital donations truly transform lives in communities across the United States.”

Statistics show that nearly 60 percent of blood donations come from people over 40, and nearly 45 percent come from people older than 50. Vitalant and its animal partners hope that new donors will also step-up to help those in need throughout the country.

“Blood donation saves 12,000 human lives a day and is one of the easiest ways people can make a positive impact on the world. If younger people don't start donating, we could run out. Take it from me - needles are no big deal,” said the spokes-hedgehog.

Across the Inland Northwest, Vitalant has six donation centers in Spokane, Spokane Valley, Coeur d’Alene, Lewiston and Moses Lake, while hosting mobile blood drives throughout the region.

In Bonners Ferry, two community blood drives take place this month, weather permitting; from 1 to 4:15 p.m. Tuesday, January 15 at the Bonners Ferry LDS Church, and from 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday, January 19, at Safeway.

Learn more at vitalant.org and follow the animals’ efforts at Vitalant.org/SaveTheHumans.

© Kootenai Valley Times
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83806