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A Citizen’s Eye View of Public Preparedness

Give Valuable Blood, Win Valuable Prizes And Maybe A Date

March 4th, 2009 · 1 Comment

As someone now benefiting from periodic transfusions, I’ve been promoting the importance of blood and platelet donations. I am also always on the lookout for innovative consumer marketing approaches in the preparedness area. So, I wanted to highlight two ideas I heard about recently.

First, I learned that the New York Blood Center has a ‘frequent giver’ program called Red Cell Advantage in which blood can be turned into points and then prizes. According to the program, donors get 50 Advantage points for every whole blood donation (75 points for platelets) and can begin cashing them in from an extensive prize list at 400 points. Blood can be donated every 56 days, and double points are offered during periods of particular need such as right now. I applaud the Center for employing a private sector marketing technique to achieve the important objective of bringing in more blood. 

Platelet Donation Rules

But not every incentive has to involve concrete objects. My friends at Cross Blog in Portland, Oregon came up with another angle to spur donations. Not surprisingly coming from them, it’s fun, creative and I think effective. They argue that donating blood could help your sex life. In a recent post, “Top Three Reasons Why Being A Blood Donor is Sexy”, Cross Blog’s Lise Harwin writes:

“The discussion about why giving blood is sexy began months ago, as I tested out the logic on a variety of female friends and co-workers. All agreed — there’s no doubt that dating (or marrying) a blood donor is definitely where it’s at.

REASON 1: Because they are (mostly) disease-free….

REASON 2: Because they can take a little pain…

REASON 3: Because they care about others…

Single men and women, I urge you to make a point of dating donors. And think seriously about becoming a blood donor yourself; someone may just be looking for you.”

So, whatever the incentive — points, dates or anything else — donating blood is a great idea. It’s also a relatively easy way that all of us can contribute to our society’s preparedness for emergencies. And personally, I thank you in advance.

The American Association of Blood Banks has a website which allows you to search by zip codes for places (like hospitals) where you can donate blood and platelets. The American Red Cross has a site,, and a toll-free number, 1-800-448-3543, to find blood drives in your area.

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Tags: Cause Marketing · Red Cross · Volunteer Opportunities

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Patty Brooks // Mar 10, 2009 at 2:00 am

    THANK YOU for making the correlation between emergency preparedness and Blood donations. I have been trying to get Red Cross & FEMA to include the importance of a healthy supply of blood before a disaster into their preparedness tips pamphlets. we tell people to to stock up on food & water but not blood. A well stocked blood supply can save lives after a disaster but most people dont think to prepared one before a disaster. See my page

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