9 ways to help address the blood shortage when you can’t donate blood

There’s a blood shortage in the United States right now. But not everyone is eligible to donate. If you fall into that category, but you still want to help, here are nine ideas of how you can do that.

  1. Help organize a blood drive.
  2. Post on social media, and talk to friends, about the current blood shortage. It’s easy to forget about donating blood; your reminder could be the difference in someone donating or forgetting.
  3. If you have a birthday or special celebration come up, you can run a virtual blood drive asking people to donate blood in honor of you.
  4. Help logistically facilitate someone’s donation. Offer to babysit, drive, or help pay for an uber for someone who wants to donate blood.
  5. Bring snacks and hydration supplies to friends who have donated.
  6. Bribe friends with snacks if they try to donate (from my own recent experience, I can tell you that bribing grad students with Taco Bell works really well).
  7. Volunteer for the Red Cross. There are opportunities for volunteering in everything from IT to running blood drives. (To be an in-person volunteer, you need to be fully vaccinated against covid-19.)
  8. Donate financially to help offset the costs of blood donation, or to help with the other endeavors of the Red Cross.
  9. Get a group of friends to go to a blood drive together (to donate or to volunteer). Sometimes the generous spirit is contagious!
Photo by Nguyễn Hiệp on Unsplash

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