Blood Donor Program

Blood Drive Chairman – Ken Lee,

MONEY can’t buy it. SCIENCE can’t duplicate it. PEOPLE can’t live without it. But, in one brief, simple gesture, many of the members of your American Legion Post-and its Auxiliary Unit-can join with others who are able to give life’s most important asset-actually, a gift of life-a pint of blood.

Participation by your Post/Unit in The American Legion’s Blood Donor Program opens another door for a great and continuing humanitarian opportunity. Here is community service of the highest order. Here is a program which meets an ever-present need. Here is a program which shows the community the depth of your Post’s concern for the well-being of your fellow citizens.

It’s impossible for patients and their immediate families alone to bear the burden of blood needs. The constant and critical need for blood can only be met by a system of voluntary donations throughout your community.

Is there a regularly scheduled collection of blood in your community? By a “regular schedule,” we mean one which calls for a bloodmobile visit or a group trip to a blood collection center every 8 weeks. If such a program does not exist, your American Legion Post is the logical focal point for its establishment. If there is an ongoing blood donor program in your community, it can be made just that much better through your Post’s cooperation and participation.

If your post does not have an active, continuing blood donor program, consider the assets which can accrue through such an endeavor:

1. Community Service. Through your Post’s organized, continuing blood donor program, the citizens of your community know that this valuable lifeline is available in time of need.

2. Improved Public Relations. The exposure your Post receives in its promotion of, and participation in, such an activity will enhance The American Legion within the community.

3. Membership Growth. An American Legion Post with a well-organized, continuing blood donor program provides its membership workers with another strong talking point when approaching non-member.

The American Legion’s interest and participation in organized blood donor img_52campaigns dates back to World War II when the need for plasma for our wounded became so intense. Hundreds of American Legion Posts became sites of community visits by Red Cross Blood mobiles. Legionnaires and Auxiliary members by the thousands rolled up their sleeves to provide the gift of life for a new generation serving in our fighting forces. The need for blood and blood products has not diminished in the decades since patriotic fervor motivated so many Americans to respond to this cause. Today’s demand for whole blood and its by-products is even greater. Unfortunately, the response to the need has not been inspiring.

It is estimated that only 5 percent of those eligible to give blood do so. Is your American Legion Post and its membership among the other 95 percent? If so, would you consider organizing your Post’s blood donor potential to share in your community’s responsibility for supplying this most precious gift?

You as Blood Donor Chairman should check with the blood collection agency serving your area (most have someone serving as blood donor recruiter) for its recommendations as to the type of donor program which will be of greatest benefit. The agency may also be able to provide informational and promotional materials on the need for blood, who may donate, etc. In some instances, the agency may be able to provide a qualified representative to present a program on the subject at a Post/Unit meeting.

Donor Program to Fit Every Post

THERE ARE several systems for American Legion Post/Auxiliary Unit participation in a continuing blood donor program. This is an area which you as Post Blood Donor chairman should discuss in detail with the donor recruiter of the blood collection agency serving your area.

Because the need for blood varies in its intensity from one area or region to another, it is impossible to state categorically which one system is the most preferable and practical. It’s up to each blood collection agency and the volunteer donor organizations to work out a program that is mutually convenient and beneficial.

The system which probably is most popular and effective is THE GROUP DONOR PLAN. This system calls for the development of a file of Legionnaires and Auxiliary members (and other volunteer donors if you can recruit them) who are willing and able to donate blood on a periodic basis. Once you have established these records, set a time for your group to appear either at the blood collection center or at the post, if a mobile collection unit is necessary.

The group donor plan requires the services of someone to draw up and maintain the records necessary on the available donors. It means that the Post blood donor chairman, perhaps with the help of other volunteers, will need to make whatever inquiries are necessary to get the names, addresses, telephone numbers, and blood types of those willing to donate blood.


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