World Blood Donor Day, created in 2004 by the World Health Organization (WHO) and celebrated on June 14, has helped raise awareness about the importance of meeting a nation’s basic requirements for blood and to prevent potential shortages.

Participants in the global health campaign help to save the lives and improve health conditions for those seeking transfusions. Some of the past themes for the annual event have included "Thank you for saving my life" and "Give the gift of life: donate blood."

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This year, the WHO has emphasized blood donations within emergency situations.

Since the organization recognizes that the typical response in an emergency scenario would be to ask how one could help, the campaign's slogan is: "What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often."

Thirty-six percent of U.S. adults have never given blood and 28 percent do not know their blood type, according to research from bandage company Nexcare. Yet, the brand also notes that an individual nationwide could benefit from blood at every two seconds of the day. Therefore, one pint of donated blood could make a substantial difference.

Indeed, contributing blood can be crucial to saving lives. Blood transfusions are used to aid in cardiovascular surgery, transplant surgery and massive trauma among other benefits. Ultimately, these donations can prove to go a long way. 

After a harrowing life-changing event, former supermodel Niki Taylor has emerged as a top spokesperson for donating blood. In 2001, a car accident left her severely injured and she received over 100 units of blood to aid in her month-long ICU stay.

"Giving blood is near and dear to my heart because not only does it save countless lives each and every day, but it’s also what saved my life years ago when I was in a car accident," Taylor told International Business Times in an email. "I had severe internal injuries, needed over 41 surgeries, and received about 100 units of blood. I will always be grateful to the American Red Cross blood donors who made my recovery possible, and I aim to pay it forward by spreading the word around the critical importance of blood donation."

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After surviving the accident, Taylor took the opportunity to meet with and personally thank those who helped to give her a second chance at life. 

"Being able to hug and meet my blood donors face-to-face was one of the most amazing experiences I've ever had. For so many years I wondered who rolled up their sleeves for me—what mom, dad, nurse, [and a] student gave me the opportunity to live my life to the fullest," she said. "One girl who gave me blood was a senior in high school who donated one time. Another guy goes every three months to donate. The people who saved me were from a diverse range of backgrounds, spanning in age from 18 to their 60s."

Taylor has made extra efforts to donate blood. She has worked alongside American Red Cross and the Nexcare Give Program to help encourage others worldwide to "roll up a sleeve and give where they live."

There are numerous locations to give blood in the U.S. — courtesy of American Red Cross and American Blood Centers — that serve as active participants of World Blood Day this year. T

Those who can't give blood on June 14 have ample opportunities to do it throughout the year. According to the American Red Cross, a donor "must wait at least eight weeks between donations of whole blood." 

Blood donors also get a bit of health checkup, as they can receive an update on their pulse, blood pressure, body temperature and hemoglobin.