Call for blood donations by those eligible in NC, including the LGBTQ+ community

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Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Renewed push for blood donations that include LGBTQ+ community
Organizers of what they've dubbed a 'Summer of Giving' say they hope people will stop by and give some blood.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Blood Connection has several offices, including one on Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.

Now organizers of what they've dubbed a Summer of Giving say they hope you'll stop by and give some blood.

The summer heat is a reminder of the challenges faced by advocates trying to raise awareness of keeping enough blood on hand for when it's needed. One factor is time, when people have plans for the months when it's really hot.

"It's not just vacations. People need to realize about 20% of blood product can come from people under the age of 24," said Michael McDaniel of the Blood Connection.

"So when we have schools that are out for summer, we lose a large swath of donors that are typically able to donate two and three times a year. So we really need the support of local businesses," said McDaniel.

The drive for more donations is embraced by North Carolina's Health and Human Services Secretary Kody Kinsley.

"After a 40 year ban, the FDA made a meaningful change to invite more gay and bisexual men to the table of giving and donating." he said. "As you've heard, there is no substitute for donating blood. Whether you're in a car accident or you're battling cancer, you can use between five to 10 pints of blood in an emergency surgery. And as we've heard from our partners at the Blood Connection, they run with a supply of five to seven days, which means that blood you donate today could save a life by the end of the week."

Kinsley has a personal stake in the efforts to spread the word about blood donations among the LGBTQ+ community.

"You know, I started donating blood when I was in high school. I was organizing blood drives. I rolled up my sleeves just as soon as I could." he said. "And it was just it felt a way to be connected. As a high school student growing up in Wilmington, I didn't have a lot of other ways I could donate money or get back, but I could get something that could be meaningful to people. Later in life when I came out and as a gay man and found out that I was excluded from giving, that was hard. I mean, I felt like I had lost the connection to something that meant a lot to me and to my community. And so to be a part of getting those rules changed, and now being able to give again is a wonderful moment for me and for my community,"

McDaniel hopes everyone reading this story will answer his appeal.

"To contact us, visit There you could sign up to host a blood drive or find one of our 11 donation centers across four states," he said.

The National Summer of Giving, a partnership with GLAAD and the Blood Connection, urges everyone who's reading this to make plans that allow you give blood now.