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Summers are often associated with warmth and fun, and for good reason. The sunny season provides longer days, arguably the best weather, and memorable outdoor events like pool parties and good old-fashioned cookouts.

For patients waiting on a blood donation, however, the summer stretch is no picnic. But why summer? Frankly, people tend to get busy this time of year. Whether whisking themselves away to a magical getaway in the Bahamas or surprising the kids with their first trip to Disney World, not as many donors are around to help out. And as more people travel and become active with outdoor activities, hospitals typically brace for an increase in the number of ER patients.

The problem is compounded because high schools and universities are out of session during the summer, which means fewer blood drives are held across the country. This creates a domino effect, and several thousand fewer blood donations are collected — meanwhile, patient need remains steady.

In fact, there’s a critical blood shortage right now, and we urge you to give blood this summer. It would mean the world to patients who can’t afford to wait any longer for medical care. Where to give blood, you ask? You can donate at a blood donation center or blood drive close to your home by making an appointment on the Vitalant website or mobile app.

Along with donating blood, encouraging others to give blood as you do is the best way to help. Fancy yourself a social media guru? Spread the word through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or whatever else you use. There’s no better way to use your digital powers for good. If you’re not into social media, spread the word over a family dinner or the next time you’re out with your friends.

Bring a friend, family member or coworker with you to your appointment — or two or three. That way, you can make an even greater impact on patient lives, perhaps a cancer patient, trauma survivor or someone undergoing life-altering surgery. You’ll also have someone to hang out with during your lifesaving activity.

If you’re a blood donor pro, you already know patients are counting on your support. Never donated before? Schedule your first appointment today to help fight the critical need, and experience firsthand how amazing it feels to potentially save multiple lives. Besides, we have chips and cookies for you to munch on afterward, and who doesn’t love free snacks? Learn more about blood donation.

The time to act is now … and we’ll be at your side every step of the way.

Published by: Jeremy T. — Vitalant Contributor