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Franklin - Local Town Pages

January is National Blood Donor Month

By J.D. O’Gara

The first month of the year marks a national awareness month for blood donation. According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds, with over 29,000 units of red blood cell donations needed every day. Blood and platelets cannot be manufactured, but nearly 5,000 units of platelets and 6,500 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S. January is a critical time for blood donations, which often decline in November and December as people become busy with the holiday season.

On August 7, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modified blood donor eligibility guidelines. For the first time in 40 years, blood donor eligibility will be evaluated independent of sex, gender, or sexual orientation, allowing more people will have the opportunity to donate blood. Screening questions on sexual orientation, which prevented gay and bisexual men from donating blood, have been eliminated. 

The American Red Cross notes that in most states, donors must be at least 17 years old in most states (16 with parental consent), healthy, and weigh at least 110 lbs. In fact, less than 38% of the U.S. population is eligible to give blood. Some may be turned away due to illness such as the common cold, being on a particular medication, low iron or having recently traveled outside the United States. 

Type O-negative blood and Type AB positive plasma can be transfused to patients of all blood types. Both are always in demand and often in short supply. Donors must wait 56 days before each whole blood donation, although they can donate platelets every seven days, up to 24 times a year. 

Want to give blood? Here are some local blood drives this month.

• Saturday, January 6, 2024

20th Annual Gary Mirliss Memorial Blood Drive, in participation with Brigham, Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital Boston, and Massachusetts General Hospital, King Philip Middle School, 18 King Street, Norfolk, Mass., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Appointments at

• Thursday, January 11, 2024

Franklin Elks, 1077 Pond Street, Franklin, MA 02038

1-6 p.m.,  

• Friday, January 12, 2024

The Adirondack Club, 800 Chestnut St., Franklin, MA 02038

1-6 p.m.,  

• Monday, January 15, 2024

Blake Middle School, 24 Pound Street, Medfield, MA 02052

8 a.m. – 2 p.m.,  

• Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Milford Regional Medical Ctr., 14 Prospect Street, Milford, MA 01757

9 a.m. – 2 p.m.,  

• Friday, January 19, 2024

Encompass Fitness, 27 Milliston Road, Millis, MA 02054

1-6 p.m.,  

• Saturday, January 20, 2024

Saint Mary’s Parish, 8 Church St., Holliston, MA 01746

8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.,  

• Tuesday, January 23, 2024

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, 91 Jordan Road, Franklin, MA 02038

1-6 p.m., 

• Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Milford Regional Medical Center, 14 Prospect Street, Milford, MA 01757

1-6 p.m.,  

• Thursday, January 25, 2024

Franklin Elks, 1077 Pond Street, Franklin, MA 02038

1-6 p.m.,  

• Sunday, January 28, 2024

Milford Regional Medical Ctr., 14 Prospect Street, Milford, MA 01757

8 a.m. – 1 p.m., 

The above is just a sampling of local blood drives, but you can also donate blood or platelets blood or platelets at Boston Children’s Hospital Blood Donor Center at 333 Longwood Ave. in Boston, as well as the Blood Donor Center at Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street, Boston.

You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s “Giving=Living” website to find a local blood drive at