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How We Show It: National Blood Donor Month

How We Show It: National Blood Donor Month

We’ve collaborated with the American Red Cross during National Blood Donor Month to learn how to best showcase blood donation in photos.

Within the last year, Tara Brower received over forty blood and platelet transfusions. She was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) in December of 2020, and needed blood throughout her treatment process. The blood she received helped save her life. The people who gave their blood to her, she’ll never meet. 

The need for donated blood is constant. January serves as National Blood Donor Month in the United States. The current demand for donations is at its most urgent point within the last ten years.

Showing a blood drive—or even communicating the need for donations—can sound tricky. After all, there are common fears and concerns people cite when choosing not to donate. Photography can help conquer these fears and encourage contributions to the cause.

By communicating how helpful and necessary blood drives are, brands can put these fears and concerns to rest. And, ultimately, more people like Tara will survive and thrive.

Vector illustration of doctors examining a medical issue with a giant magnifying glass
Image via VectorMine.

Let’s take a look at how the power of photography can encourage blood donations and help save lives.


Show Who Benefits from Blood Donation

Who do you think needs blood? Oftentimes, we think of people who are going through trauma or surgery. While these folks certainly require blood donations, there are a wide variety of patients who are also in need. Children and adults, surgical and cancer patients, people of every age and background—they’re all dependent on donated blood. 

If you’re promoting a blood drive, or encouraging folks to give, it’s critical to represent all patients who benefit from donations.

While Tara was going through treatment, her friends and family back home spread awareness of her need for blood as a cancer patient. By sharing her story of chemotherapy at the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, Tara’s local blood drives in Indiana were able to collect four to five times the amount of blood compared to a standard drive. 

Showing the faces of individuals, and how they come from all experiences, is a huge motivation for prospective donors. Blood drives help people of all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life.


Show How Blood Helps People Feel Good

Donating blood doesn’t only help save lives. It also makes people simply feel better. Tara said that the donations she received gave her energy while going through chemotherapy.

She has always been an active person. Thanks to her blood and platelet transfusions, she was able to continue exercising with daily walks throughout her treatment. She says her physical health improved over this time period, as did her emotional well-being.

Having healthy blood in a recipient’s body gives some people the opportunity to maintain more active lifestyles. Active lifestyles often lead to more positive mental states, which can be critical when coping with long-term treatments

Photography can also show this aspect of blood donation. Selecting photos that show people feeling good, staying active, and enjoying their lives communicates that blood drives don’t just help life continue on. Their donations also improve quality of life.


Communicate the Constant and Critical Need for Blood

National Blood Donor Month occurs throughout January because it’s one of the most difficult times of the year to maintain sufficient blood supplies. This annual need is due to a variety of factors, including busy holiday schedules and bad weather.

Still, there’s a constant demand for donations throughout the year. January is no different than any other month, as patients like Tara are experiencing ongoing treatment during these times.

Of course, organizations like The American Red Cross experience an increased need for blood after emergencies, too. Because disasters can surprise us, and happen at any time, it’s critical that hospitals and medical workers have a reliable supply of blood on hand. While blood banks are always expecting the unexpected, regular donorship helps ease any burdens. 


Help Donors Overcome Fear and Worry 

Tara has completed her cancer treatment and is feeling stronger today. She has helped the Indiana chapter of The American Red Cross organize and advertise multiple blood drives since her treatment concluded. When talking to first-time donors, she said a few common fears come up in their conversations:

  • People feel as if they don’t have time to donate.
  • Some worry they can’t donate due to medical conditions. 
  • Potential donors are afraid of the process. 

By talking with prospective donors, Tara has helped them overcome these fears. You can also combat these worries through visual communication. 

The right photos show how quick, painless, and helpful the blood donation process is. This encourages prospective donors to spend their time giving to such a worthy cause.

Featuring friendly and helpful staff in your photos also communicates that any questions can be answered before, during, and after the process. 


Donate Blood Today

A young woman in a recliner donating blood
Image via Pressmaster.

Brands can honor National Blood Donor Month by selecting the best photos of donors, drives, and recipients. Even better, individuals can make a donation of their own blood. 

The American Red Cross’ website makes it easy to find donation centers and drives near you. Visit here to sign up and save a life.


Cover image via Monkey Business Images.

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