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Holiday Hugs Day

When is Holiday Hugs Day—Celebrating Dedicated Platelet Donors? This day will take place on February 1 of each calendar year.

What is Holiday Hugs Day—Celebrating Dedicated Platelet Donors? At Atlanta Blood Services, we conducted the “Holiday Hugs” campaign to address blood product shortages during the holiday season. We want to recognize our donors who commit to donate once a month during the busiest time of the year, the holidays. Donors who make and keep the commitment to donate platelets once a month for 4 consecutive months are recognized. We have scheduled this campaign to end as National Blood Donor Month ends. This will close out this campaign with an ongoing commitment to make donation a habit. This year has been especially challenging with COVID-19, and we want to recognize that right now we are all missing real hugs and human contact due to social distancing and prevention of COVID-19. Our donors are giving patients in need a life-saving hug through their platelet donation.

Why is this day being celebrated or observed? Historically, blood donations decrease during the holiday season. As a result, the blood supply is challenged because the need remains steady or increases. Patients undergoing treatment for blood cancers and bone marrow transplant are especially impacted by platelet shortages. Leukemia patients routinely need 35-50 units of platelets during the course of their treatment. Platelets have a very short shelf-life (5 days) which means that we constantly need donors who are wiling to spend extra time (2 1/2 – 3 hours) to donate platelets. We created this day to recognize the donors who make platelet donation a routine habit.

How should this day be celebrated or observed? We plan to recognize our donors by presenting them with a specially designed t-shirt. We will also promote donors and staff who made this happen on social media.

Who created this day? This day was created in February 2021 by Atlanta Blood Services.