World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on June 14 every year — an occasion started by the World Health Organization in 2004, in order to raise awareness about the importance of meeting a nation’s basic requirements for blood and to prevent potential shortages.

Last year’s theme was "What can you do? Give blood. Give now. Give often” — as WHO sought to educate people that the typical response in an emergency scenario is always to ask how one could help. This year’s slogan reads: “Be there for someone else. Give blood. Share life.”

 “Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with a higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during the emergency response to man-made and natural disasters,” WHO website stated.

It added: “A blood service that gives patients access to safe blood and blood products in sufficient quantity is a key component of an effective health system. An adequate supply can only be ensured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors.”

The World Blood Donor Day events will be hosted by Athens, Greece, this year through the Hellenic National Blood Centre.

The organization also shared a heart-touching short video emphasizing the necessity for more people to voluntarily visit the nearest blood donation center and give blood to save those in dire need of it.

WHO also held a poll on its Twitter page asking people if they were aware of their blood type.

According to a survey conducted by Nexcare last year, 28 percent of the people in the United States had no idea which blood group they belonged to. Also is disturbing the fact that of the 38 percent of Americans who are eligible to donate, less than 10 percent donate each year, US News reported.

It is also found that over 60 percent of the blood donors are aged over 40 years. The present trends show that too few young people are stepping up to replenish the blood banks across the nation, which is troubling.

In case you are unsure if you are eligible to donate blood, or how to find the nearest blood donation center, you can always visit the websites of Red Cross Blood  or America’s Blood Centers to get all the information you need.

In order to get new donors to start donating blood and invite returning donors who have donated blood in the past but not in the recent times, the Red Cross also started the #MissingType campaign on social media.

As part of the campaign, the letters A, B, and O – the main blood types – disappeared from brands, social media pages, signs and websites that joined hands with the organization to spread awareness about the shortage of blood going on in the country.

“Without As, Bs and Os, we cannot save anyone,” Red Cross’ own website reads, which have dispensed with the three chosen letters from its logo and tabs.

“Unfortunately, blood shortages still happen and the number of new Red Cross blood donors is shrinking each year,” said Cliff Numark, senior vice president, Red Cross Blood Services, Oakdale Leader reported. “That’s why the Red Cross is asking those who have never donated blood and those who haven’t given in a while to make a lifesaving donation. You are the missing type patients need.”