Talent development leaders and practitioners collectively answer the call to provide support and guidance to those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations. However, a more critical and urgent call requirements our collective attention and response. The month of January represents many things. It may mean setting a specific resolution; it may mean a fresh start and perspective on an idea or interest to others. However, the month of January also represents National Blood Donor Month. Did you know that the nation's blood supply is at its all-time lowest? This month's national supply had dipped to levels that the Red Cross says it had not seen in ten years. Blood shortages have become a national epidemic.
Communities throughout the U.S. are experiencing blood shortages more frequently and for prolonged periods due to disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our most vulnerable may be someone you know with cancer, pregnant, or someone living with sickle cell disease. A sobering fact is that while one in seven hospitalized people will need a blood transfusion in a lifetime, only one in 20 eligible blood donors donate. There is no substitute for blood, and your donation saves lives.
So how can you help? You can help by joining our collective efforts to get the word out to our family, friends, and colleagues about the importance of donating blood in such a critical time of need. You can create a fundraising page to support the mission, whether it is by running in a marathon, donating your birthday, or anything else. You can donate by Text REDCROSS to 90999 to support Disaster Relief efforts with a $10 donation.
Finally, make it a goal to participate in your organization's scheduled blood drives. The Red Cross (www.redcrossblood.org) is an excellent resource to find donation opportunities that genuinely can make a difference in our communities. Additionally, the Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center (giveblood.org) is a wonderful resource in providing safe and accurate guidance on donating blood and fundraising for the cause. After you donate in the manner you choose post to your social media and tag #ATDHou to collectively rejoice in your efforts as a community of professionals.
In closing, please remember that more than 33,000 daily blood donations are required throughout the U.S. to meet patient needs. Be the difference in potentially saving a life by making blood donation a habit for you, your friends, and your family this January. The talent development community can pave the way through our actions and compassion to help alleviate this crisis of blood donations.
Donna Hailey, 2022 ATD Houston President