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When You Donate Blood, You Save Lives and Earn Gift Cards

One pint of blood can save three lives. That alone is what drives folks to roll up their sleeves and get that needle prick. But there’s one other good motive to enroll to be an everyday blood donor: Gift playing cards.

You get much more than a T-shirt and some peanut butter crackers as of late while you donate blood. Blood assortment organizations routinely give out $20 price of reward playing cards to Amazon, eating places and main retailers at blood drives. You may give blood each 56 days, or six instances a 12 months.

So, a pair can common $240 in perks and save 36 lives in a single 12 months. For a household of 4 with youngsters above 16 and sufficiently old to donate, that’s about $500 in reward playing cards per 12 months and 72 lives saved.

“One time we went to Kohl’s and there was a blood drive in the parking lot,” mentioned Beverly Mattis of Wake Forest, N.C. “They gave us each a $20 Kohl’s gift card so my daughter and I went in and did some shopping afterward.”


Exavier Jones reveals off his $10 reward certificates after donating blood at a OneBlood Big Red Bus in St. Petersburg, Fla. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Exavier Jones gave blood lately at a OneBlood cellular assortment bus exterior informal eating restaurant Carrabba’s Italian Grill in St. Petersburg.

“I’m type O. That’s always needed, so I try to give as often as I can,” he mentioned, explaining that any blood sort can settle for sort O blood. He acquired a $10 Carrabba’s reward card and a $10 e-gift card to make use of at one in every of a wide range of retailers.

How to Get the Perks of Being a Regular Blood Donor

If you register to be a blood donor with the blood assortment group in your space, you’ll obtain texts or emails with dates of upcoming blood drives and the perks. There are many blood assortment organizations across the nation. Here are three of the largest, and how you can register:

There’s no requirement that you simply give a sure variety of instances a 12 months, however there’s encouragement.

OneBlood, which collects blood within the Southeast, partnered with Carrabba’s to present $10 reward playing cards every time somebody donated between January and April. Those who gave twice acquired a further $25 reward card together with the 2 $10 playing cards.

“I got $10. I’m going to go inside and have a lasagna dinner tonight,” mentioned Bill Howard after donating on the Carrabba’s in St. Petersburg.

The reward playing cards are good for certain, he mentioned, however the primary motive he offers usually is as a result of he was stabbed through the Vietnam War and wanted numerous blood to outlive. He desires to avoid wasting others like a stranger’s blood as soon as saved him.

A man wearing a camouflage hat poses for a portrait outside of a blood donation bus.
Bill Howard donates blood usually as a result of his life was saved by an individual who donated blood after he was stabbed within the Vietnam War. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

“I would say most of the time at almost all of our drives our intention is to have a donor gift,” mentioned Pat Michaels, OneBlood director of media relations. “It could be Carrabba’s, Publix, Red Lobster. We have built up some wonderful partners,” he mentioned.

OneBlood additionally offers out tickets donated by the Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Jacksonville Jaguars, the Daytona 500 and Carowinds amusement park close to Charlotte, N.C.

Along with reward playing cards and tickets, many blood assortment teams additionally give out swag resembling seashore towels, fleece blankets, automobile shades and insulated water bottles.

Vitalant, which relies in Scottsdale, Ariz., is the biggest nonprofit blood service supplier within the nation serving 40 states. It hosts greater than 30,000 blood drives a 12 months and presents a wide range of perks and incentives for blood donors.

Vitalant is partnering with the Arizona Diamondbacks to encourage highschool college students there to prepare blood drives in school. The workforce will host greater than 1,000 college students from blood drive committees. Organizers from the 2 colleges who obtain probably the most donations will share a celebration suite at a Diamondbacks sport.

Vitalant can be encouraging girls to prepare a blood drive with associates the identical as they may host a celebration at their houses promoting jewellery or garments. An organizer can invite eight associates to a personal celebration at a set middle that’s catered with enjoyable meals the place donors obtain reward playing cards and different swag.

For donors with a candy tooth, Vitalant lately promoted a pint-for-a-pint supply. Donors who gave a pint of blood acquired a voucher for a free pint of frozen custard at Culver’s.

The American Red Cross lately supplied $5 Amazon reward playing cards to some donors, and their names have been entered for an opportunity to win a visit for 4 to the 2022 Indianapolis 500. Winners will obtain pit credentials, airfare, resort lodging and a $500 reward card. Other Red Cross blood drives enter donors’ names in a drawing for an opportunity to win a $1,000 e-Gift card to one in every of a number of shops.

More Perks for Donating Platelets

Platelets are small cells that cease bleeding by forming clots. Donated platelets are used for most cancers sufferers, transplants, burn sufferers and traumatic accidents.

When somebody donates platelets, a machine extracts them from complete blood then returns the remainder of the blood again to the donor. The course of takes about three hours.

Because it takes longer than donating complete blood, extra perks are supplied for individuals who give platelets, which might be donated each seven days. OneBlood lately challenged platelet donors to a two-month program providing reward playing cards valued at $25 for his or her second donation, $50 for his or her third and $75 for his or her fourth.

It can be selling a 3 month problem, providing reward playing cards valued at $25 for the second donation, $50 for the third, $75 for the fourth, $100 for the fifth and $125 for the sixth. That’s a complete of $375 in reward playing cards in three months.

People line up at a blood donation bus to donate blood.
According to Givingblood.org, solely 37% of the U.S. inhabitants can donate blood. Less than 10 p.c of these folks donate blood no less than every year. Chris Zuppa/The Penny Hoarder

Constant Need Increased During the Pandemic

Even in typical instances, blood assortment organizations are continuously attempting to recruit extra donors. Only 37% of the U.S. inhabitants is eligible to donate blood, and lower than 10 p.c of these folks accomplish that no less than every year, in response to Givingblood.org.

Numerous impacts of COVID-19 made it even tougher to succeed in and encourage donors, in response to Michaels at OneBlood.

“There has been every reason for there to be a shortage of blood drives,” he mentioned. Blood drives at faculties, excessive colleges and workplace buildings have been cancelled for months on finish as a result of they have been closed.

“We had to recover by creating new partnerships,” Michaels mentioned. OneBlood labored with county elections workplaces throughout the nation in addition to a whole bunch of householders associations to attach with teams of people that would join blood drives, he mentioned.

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