NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — June 14 marks the annual celebration of World Blood Donor Day, an event that started in 2005, spearheaded by the World Health Organization.
During the event, blood collection organizations around the world celebrate and recognize the importance of a safe and stable blood supply and the nearly 2.5 million volunteer donors who make it possible.
Blood donations decline in late spring and early summer, especially during holiday weeks like Memorial Day and Independence Day.
This means donations are even more critically important, and as a motivation for participation, all who come to give in June will receive a $5 e-gift card to a merchant of choice and will also be automatically entered for a chance to win a VIP trip for two to Graceland in honor of the Baz Luhrmann film, "Elvis." Winners will also receive round-trip airfare to Memphis, a three-night stay at The Guest House, an Elvis Entourage VIP tour and a custom-wrapped Gibson Epiphone guitar.
Donors can also receive a Top Gun-themed blood donor t-shirt while supplies last.
“World Blood Donor Day is an opportunity to thank our many local donors who selflessly help save lives and encourage more people to start their own donation journey,” said J.B. Gaskins, CEO of Blood Assurance. “This is a critical time for our blood supply. The need for blood products continues, but the pace of donations traditionally slows during the summer months. World Blood Donor Day is the perfect opportunity to make an appointment to donate blood.”
Donors can visit the Blood Assurance website, call 800-962-0628, or text BAGIVE to 999777, to find the nearest location to donate and schedule an appointment.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.