11/04/10 While some people believe personality is driven by blood type, one truth holds: when you donate blood through the American Red Cross, you become the giving type.

“Coming to donate blood shows you’re someone who cares about others,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Region of the American Red Cross. “Whether you know your blood type or not, your support of blood donation truly makes a difference to someone in need.”

Blood type, like eye or hair color, is an inherited trait. And most people will readily recognize the most widely identified blood groups: A, B, O and AB. The prevalence of blood groups varies among ethnic groups. For instance, about 60 percent of the Latino population is group O versus 45 percent of the general population. Nearly 20 percent of African Americans have group B blood, compared to 11 percent of Caucasians.

“The Red Cross is always looking to increase the number of blood donors in diverse communities,” said Whitman. “It’s part of our mission to ensure that blood is there for anyone who needs it.”

Part of building an adequate blood supply rests in identifying and recruiting donors with rare blood types. While most people have one of the four major blood types, a very small percent of people have one of 600 known rare blood types.

The Red Cross offers support to hospitals across the country in finding donors with unique blood types through its collaboration with AABB on the American Rare Donor Program. Donors with rare blood types are asked to join a registry, and to roll up their sleeves when the need for a rare blood type occurs.

“We want to be there for everyone, donor and patient alike,” said Whitman. “That’s what sets us apart and makes us the American Red Cross.”


  • Tuesday, Nov. 9, from 2:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. at LaVille Elementary School in the cafeteria, located at 12645 Tyler Road in Lakeville.
  • Sunday, Nov. 14, from 1:30 p.m. until 5 p.m. at Culver Military Academy in the Fleet Gymnasium, located at 1300 Academy Road in Culver.

How to Donate Blood

To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.