Donate blood this week

Red Cross shortages make giving blood even more important.

Daily Editorial Board

Due to this winterâÄôs relentless blizzard conditions, the American Red Cross has reported about 23,000 canceled blood and platelet donations since Jan. 1. With shortages of 28,000 units and climbing, donations are urgently needed both locally and nationally to replenish blood supplies.

Donating blood is something concrete and simple that students can do to aid victims of disasters, patients in need of transfusions and hospitals short on supplies. And with that small prick to the arm, you can save up to three lives.

The Red Cross is coming to the University of Minnesota for its Big Ten Challenge this week, making it even more convenient to donate. The challenge has a goal of 8,300 pints of blood, a mark that we hope students can meet and exceed.

An individual tends to get swallowed up by the massive scale of our national problems: war, health care, hunger, the national debt. But donating blood is an action that takes very little time and makes an important and noticeable difference.

We urge students to stop by between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., Wednesday at Coffman Union or between noon and 6 p.m., Feb. 24 at Comstock Hall to donate.

Participating in the mission to ensure that every patient can receive the blood he needs is important and makes a real and immediate difference in the community.

Donating blood is even more important now that the American Red Cross is under strains from the winter season. The system of blood donations relies on the goodwill and generosity of donors. Students usually cannot be charitable with their money, but they can be charitable by giving blood.