World Blood Donor Day: An Unsung Holiday of Giving Life

What do you think constitutes something to have its own reserved (and celebrated) day each year?

Perhaps it is the billions of multicolored lights, or a bearded intruder sneaking down chimneys with gifts, that comes to mind when Christmas arrives. It might be possible that giant, mutant rabbits suspiciously hiding painted eggs for children is a thought associated with Easter. Or, just maybe, it is the dread you start to get around Valentine’s Day when you hear the special lad or lady in your life drop hints about that pricey gift they’ve been eyeing to prove your absolute devotion.

For me, I can never really understand some of the customs we have for celebrating holidays. Nonetheless, I enjoy celebrating most, whether it be with explosions, marathons of stop-motion animated classics or seemingly endless amounts of honey-glazed ham and turkey.

Today, though, we are not going to talk about jolly, fat men in red suits. Rather than take you on another trip down memory lane, pining and combing through thoughts of the glorious, sugary sieges of many past Halloweens, I want to talk about World Blood Donor Day, a day we recognize at Incept.

World Blood Donor Day is quite the dark horse when it comes to special days on the calendar. There were no glowing neon balls dramatically making their descent, back when World Blood Donor Day started on June 14, 2004. The date was chosen due to it being the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, an American biologist and physician noted for having first distinguished the main blood groups. Rather than being just another day on the calendar, it is a day to say thank you to blood donors for giving the gift of life and also (if you’re eligible) a day to donate blood.

As you might know, blood cannot be made, so it has to be given. What better day to donate than on World Blood Donor Day? It’s right at the start of the summer season, when the need for blood tends to increase, and it only takes an hour or less (in most cases) to complete a visit to a donor center or blood drive to donate blood. As a blood donor, you are literally giving part of yourself to help out someone in need.

How many lives can Santa Claus claim to have saved? What about the Easter bunny? About how many times do you think that rascal has given blood donation a thought?

That is the beautiful thing about this day. It is not celebrated with television specials or over-the-top, non-existent holiday figureheads. It is about the donor. It is about the businessman that finds time between lunch and meetings to donate blood at the office. It is about a high school kid that donated even though his school is on summer break. It is about the typical soccer mom who finds not only the time, but also compassion, between taking the kids to practice to help others. There are no lavish parades on this day. No holiday feast. No holiday medley to be sung. There is something bigger: good people doing a great thing – giving the gift of life.

If you haven’t donated blood yet this summer, what is stopping you?