This World Blood Donor Day, we are sharing for lives, not likes.
Across New Zealand, there are 110,000 secret lifesavers walking amongst us. Teachers, builders, chefs, league players, farmers and shop keepers, together they help save the lives of nearly 29,000 people around the country every year. These unsung heroes give the gift of life by making a blood donation.
This Wednesday the 14th of June is World Blood Donor Day, and New Zealand Blood Service is celebrating these genuine Kiwi heroes by asking them to stand up and take a bow. Their commitment and generosity ensures every New Zealander has access to a safe and certain blood supply.
“Blood donors don’t expect praise, it’s just something they do,” says Asuka Burge, National Manager Marketing and Communications for New Zealand Blood Service. “But the impact that such an unassuming act can have on people’s lives is monumental.”
New Zealand Blood Service must work continuously to renew the donor database at a rate of more than 20,000 people per year.
“By standing up and sharing with their family and friends why they donate, our donors can hopefully be recognised for what they do, while also encouraging others to consider donating blood as well,” says Burge.
There are no synthetic alternatives to blood: New Zealand Blood Service needs to collect over 168,000 units of blood a year. This amounts to over 3,000 donations needed every week.
Asuka Burge believes that the modesty of many Kiwis means they often don’t register the significance of giving up their time, and their blood, to help those in need.
“It only takes about an hour out of your day to make a blood donation, but every donation made has the potential to save three lives,” she says. “Donors aren’t just giving blood, they are part of something bigger. Today, we encourage these secret lifesavers to stand up and take a bow.
“On behalf of New Zealand Blood Service, and the 29,000 people whose lives you’ve saved in the last year alone, we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”
Those interested in becoming a blood donor should visit www.nzblood.co.nz.
Sharing for Lives, not Likes
This year, New Zealand Blood Service has launched a social media campaign that encourages donors to step forward and “share for lives, not likes”.
New Zealand Blood Service is asking donors to share a photo on social media with #SharingForLives, with the reason they donate, in order to help to spread the word about donating blood.
For more information, please see the supplementary information sheet provided.
NZBS asked blood donors from around the country to share their reasons for donating. Here are a couple of their stories:
Gareth is fit as a fiddle, and so he should be: the forty-year-old sports manager and father of two needs to walk the talk. In between work, kids, competing in half-Ironmans and coaching girls’ basketball, Gareth still manages to find the time to donate blood.
Gareth has a very good reason for donating blood. When his wife was giving birth to their youngest daughter, she nearly died from complications. Were it not for the two blood transfusions she received, she wouldn’t be here today. Gareth is reminded of this fact every time he donates.
Leilani’s mum was always an advocate for the benefits of giving whatever you can give, something that had a profound impact on Leilani. She became a blood donor at the age of 19 in her home country of Samoa, and has been donating actively since moving to New Zealand.
As a nurse, and a former Red Cross volunteer in Samoa, Leilani has seen the lifesaving benefits of blood donation first-hand. She knows that it could one day be one of her children who need it.