Blood donors help people in need

By Carol Kottom, National Security Chairman

Has your unit sponsored a blood drive this year? According to the American Red Cross, someone needs blood every 2 seconds in the United States. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries.

Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation. The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of our nation’s blood and blood components, all from generous volunteer donors. But supply can’t always meet demand because only about 3 percent of age-eligible people donate blood yearly.

Each new donor helps us meet patient needs. Remember that January is National Blood Donor Month. What a great way to start the new year by becoming a blood donor. Go to the American Red Cross site to see where you can donate and make an appointment today.

What is the best contact for the local military installation in your community? Because the military relocates their people often, try to locate the closest State Contracted Family Readiness Group (FRG). This is a contracted employee that works right on the base.

The State FRG is your go-to contact. They can help you plan simple events, like babysitting kids during a promotion ceremony, Month of the Military child events, stocking their food pantry, identifying released soldiers who might need Temporary Finance Assistance, or scholarship assistance, baby showers, Yellow Ribbon events, or Welcome Homes.

R.E.D. (Remember Everyone Deployed) Friday was created to remind people of our heroes overseas and show that we are thinking of them. People across the country wear red every Friday to serve as a reminder and spread the message of how important it is that we keep our troops in our thoughts throughout the year.

Ready is a government-sponsored website with a wealth of information on what to do to prepare you and your family in the event of an emergency. It can best be stated by utilizing the phrasing straight from their website. Launched in February 2003, Ready is a national public service campaign designed to educate and empower the American people to prepare for, respond to and mitigate emergencies, including natural and man-made disasters. The goal of the campaign is to promote preparedness through public involvement. Visit – you will find various disaster types and information to help you successfully navigate and prepare yourself.

Here are some sites you can check out for military coupons or discounts: