HEALTH

American Red Cross of Utah encourages families to donate during Presidents Day school break

Feb 19, 2024, 12:44 PM | Updated: 1:08 pm

LEHI — On Monday, many families will spend time at home, off work or out of school for Presidents Day.

With that extra time, the American Red Cross of Utah said its doors will be open. The goal is to offer a great opportunity for families to make a difference and introduce the blood donation process to their kids. No matter what day it is, blood donations are still needed, which is one reason the Red Cross emphasized the importance of encouraging the next generation to donate blood.

“I remember growing up, the very first time I donated, my stepfather invited me to come with him,” said Benjamin Donner, executive director for the American Red Cross of Central and Southern Utah.

Donner said it’s thanks to that invitation at 16 years old that showed him firsthand the importance of giving blood. He hopes that others are encouraged to follow suit by their families.

“Find a blood drive. But if somebody’s at home, bring them with (you). That could be an amazing opportunity for them to see what this is all about, what this looks like,” Donner said.

Donner said so long as a person meets the requirements, is able-bodied and willing, donors just have to be 18 years or older. However, students who are 16 or 17 years old can donate blood with parental consent.

In the Beehive State, the Red Cross collects the majority of the blood and platelets used by the hospitals in Utah.

So while there may be no school for many students, a life lesson can be taught.

“This is a passion for helping someone; this is the only way they can possibly continue life. There’s no way to synthesize this. There’s no way to manufacture it,” Donner said. “It has to come from an amazing donor.”

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American Red Cross of Utah encourages families to donate during Presidents Day school break