If giving back in 2020 is a top priority for you, start by donating blood. Committing to four donations during 2020 could save up to 12 lives – every unit of whole blood is separated into three lifesaving parts; red cell, platelets and plasma.

“Thank you to all our blood donors for their support during 2019 and specifically during the school holidays, we managed to receive 13 987 blood donations over this time. This resulted in 41 961 lives saved”, says Michelle Vermeulen, Head of Marketing and PR for the Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS).

Blood donation only takes 30 minutes of your time every 56 days. It requires you to be between the ages of 16 and 75, weigh over 50kg, be in good general health and lead a safe sexual lifestyle. It does not cause you any bodily harm – only 475ml of blood is taken, and this is replaced within 24 hours.

Vermeulen advises donors to eat a substantial meal within the three to four hours before visiting a clinic and to increase their fluid intake before, during and after donation. Donors are advised not to overexert themselves after donating.

For more information, SMS “Blood” to 33507, call WCBS on 021 507 6300, e-mail info@wcbs.org.za or visit www.wcbs.org.za. Blood stock updates and interesting facts about donation can be found on Facebook (@TheWCBS), Twitter (@The_WCBS) and Instagram (@thewcbs) accounts.