Facebook has rolled out a blood donation feature for people in the US. The feature, which is basically designed to improve the process of blood donation, will be available in Chicago, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, Baltimore and Washington, DC for a start, while people in other cities across America will have their turn in the coming months.
Facebook is collaborating with relevant partners including America’s Blood Centers, the American Red Cross, Inova, New York Blood Center, Rock River Valley Blood Center, Stanford Blood Center, Versiti, and Vitalant.
Facebook’s Product Director, Health Hema Budaraju in a short statement said the feature was borne out of the need to encourage blood donation in the US, which is experiencing a decline. “To help raise awareness and make it easier for people to find opportunities to donate, we’re launching our Blood Donations feature in the US today.”
Interested blood donors in the aforementioned cities can sign up starting from today on Facebook by going to “Blood Donations” in the About section of their profile. They can request to donate blood when blood donation centers need donors. The feature will be visible for everyone to see on Facebook, which will help to boost blood bank in the US.
Tomorrow June 14 is World Blood Donor Day—a day set aside by the World Health Organization to thank blood donors. The day has also been set aside to raise awareness of the need for people to regularly donate blood to blood bank where those who need it can access safe blood. Facebook will be hosting blood drives in some of its offices and running awareness campaigns in Brazil and India as its own contribution towards marking the World Blood Donor Day.
The social media behemoth is also partnering on the Missing Types campaign with the American Red Cross and Vitalant. Among other things, Facebook will post information on several of its channels to engage its community and drive awareness about the importance of blood donors.
“Through our partnership with Facebook, individuals will be able to conveniently find and connect with their local blood center to help meet the ongoing need for a diverse pool of blood donors in the US and share their experiences and the importance of blood donation,” said Kate Fry, chief executive officer at America’s Blood Centers per Facebook. “By encouraging blood donation as a way of life, each of us can assure that the more than 30,000 pints of blood used daily throughout the country is available.”
Facebook did not say if this feature will be rolled out in other countries; that said, it is good gesture, and one that will raise awareness and encourage people to donate blood, which in turn will help to save life.