January 17, 2022

DAYTON, Ohio - State Sen. Steve Huffman, the architect of Ohio's January Blood Donor Awareness Month, rolled up his sleeve to donate Monday, kicking-off "Blood Donor Appreciation Days" at Community Blood Center.

Everyone who registers to donate now through the end of January at the Dayton Donation Center, 349 South Main St. gets a randomly-drawn $10 gift card and the special-edition "Counting on You in 2022" long-sleeve t-shirt. Appointments are encouraged. Schedule online at or call (937) 461-3220.

January Blood Donor Awareness Month comes during a time of low blood supply in the CBC region and critical shortages in many parts of the country. The traditional challenges of winter emphasized in Donor Month are compounded this year due to the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

State Sen. Huffman (R-5th District) is an ER physician and a lifetime blood donor. He introduced legislation for an Ohio Blood Donor Awareness Month in 2017 and it was first observed in January 2019.

Huffman made a double red blood cell donation Monday and now has 81 lifetime donations.

"Blood donation in January is particularly important because of Blood Donor Awareness Month and very important now with the country in such high need," said Huffman. "Because of COVID, a lot of people can't get out and give blood. If you're healthy and not taking any additional risk of COVID, it's needed. It's a simple way to help others in need."

CBC is asking community members to commit in 2022 to donating at least twice.  Another challenge is to consider giving platelets, plasma or double red cells. All require use of an automated system and take a bit longer than the common whole blood donation.

Huffman is an ideal double red cell donor because his O-negative blood type is in high demand for trauma patients. He is also CMV-negative for the common cytomegalovirus, which is safer for treating infants.

"Being on a busy schedule I can give twice as much in about the same amount of time," said Huffman. "I feel no different when giving singles or doubles but feel better that I can help twice as many people sitting down here one time. Especially because I'm O-negative and CMV-negative. I love the feeling when I get a message that my blood was used for a newborn child."

It's a reminder to him of the direct donation he made for his newborn son Will, who with his twin sister was born 12 weeks premature and spent six weeks in neonatal intensive care. Will is now a 23-year old medical student.

COVID-19 challenges continue in 2022. Many businesses and organizations are not hosting blood drives due to pandemic-related restrictions. CBC must be prepared for how the rising number of cases may impact the availability of donors, and for more requests to supply blood to hospitals outside the CBC region.

CBC is "Counting on You in 2022" to become a blood donor, donate more often, become a platelet or plasma donor, or sponsor a blood drive. Call (937) 461-3220 to learn how you can help.