January is National Blood Donor Month. That's your cue, Grand Junction! It's time to step up to the plate and save a life. Why January? It seems this is the time of year when blood centers need donations the most.

January was declared National Volunteer Blood Donor Month clear back in 1970. Believe it or not, January is the hardest time for blood centers to recruit donors. According to the Red Cross, between busy schedules, an increase in people suffering from cold and flu symptoms, and even the infamous winter blues, people hold off from donating this time of year.

Take a look at the photo above. Do you see those empty chairs? When I donated last, I pretty much had the place to myself. As I recall, my visit was somewhere around 1:00 in the afternoon. To top it off, this was during one of the busier months. Imagine what it's like during a slow month like January.

Grand Junction's blood bank offers extensive hours. No lines, no fuss, just saving lives.

Before they draw your blood, you have to fill out a little questionnaire. Most of the questions involve diseases you've probably never even heard of. Others ask some rather personal questions. How does one say this delicately? They ask questions like, "Have you ever had sex with a prostitute from Loompaland who had a tattoo or piercing done in the last 12 months and contracted a case of the Measles?"

Granted, the questions are a bit personal, but unless you're really into weird stuff, it's safe to say you can answer with a simple "No."

Here are my five reasons why you should donate today:

5. It's painless. Seriously, it doesn't hurt. Yeah, they have to poke a finger with a little needle to get a sample, and that's kind of a drag. Aside from that, you hardly notice anything.

4. The people at the blood bank are awesome.

3. You really do get free orange juice and cookies!

2. You never know when you might need blood. Wouldn't it give you real peace of mind to know there was blood waiting should you need it?

1. You literally are saving a life. How many times today will somebody need blood right here in Grand Junction? How about around the country? Will it be someone you know? A family member? Be proactive! Emergencies happen without warning, but that doesn't mean you can't be prepared.

What do you say we kick off 2018 on a high note? Donate today. There's always a need for blood. Donating really is a rewarding experience.

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