In March 2006, the United States House of Representatives endorsed the establishment of a National Blood Reserve and recognized “the United States’ participation in blood safety and awareness as part of the World Health Organization’s World Blood Donor Day campaign”. The bill was proposed by the Give Life Foundation.

World Blood Donor Day was celebrated in many parts of the country. In New York, the Mayor issued a proclamation praising the work of the New York Blood Center, and going on to state, “New York City takes this opportunity to recognize the critical importance of fostering widespread voluntary donation, which is the only way to ensure that the city’s blood supply meets the needs of its diverse population”.

On the evening of 13 June, the New York Yankees High School Blood Donor Championships took place for the tenth year running. This year, 1 700 tickets to the major league baseball game were donated by the Yankees to the schools with the highest donation totals. A pre-game ceremony saw representatives from the winning schools invited onto the pitch, while their school names were read over the public address system. The Yankees also publicized World Blood Donor Day on their electronic scoreboard and thanked all who gave blood for the community.

New York Blood Center also offered all its donors special pins of honour, as thanks and appreciation for the gift of blood. New York and New Jersey alone require about 2 000 volunteers each day.

Specially designed World Blood Donor Day posters were the contribution of Americas Blood Centers, AABB and the American Red Cross. Wearing red boots and a cape, the Red Defender is a comic book hero, intended to show what a difference people can make by donating the gift of life. The Red Defender is part of the Bloodsaves.com education campaign, which has the theme, “Saving the world isn’t easy, saving a life is”. The posters were designed to catch the attention of younger people, to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donation. The continuing campaign includes television, radio and advertising, and directs young people to visit the interactive website www.bloodsaves.com which gives them information about the donating blood in their community, as well as why a safe and adequate blood supply is so important.

Give Life Foundation
Patrick Hughes
Rolf Kovenetsky
Jennifer Garkinkel
or Mike Townsend