Everyone knows that Valentine’s Day, the day of love, is celebrated on February 14, but did you know that it’s also National Donor Day (or National Organ Donor Day)?

The observance focuses on five different types of donations: Organs – Tissues – Marrow – Platelets – Blood. Many nonprofit health organizations sponsor blood and marrow drives and organ/tissue sign-ups across the nation. Approximately every two seconds, there is someone in the U.S. who needs blood, which translates to the need for over 41,000 daily donations, and more than 120,000 people are waiting for life-saving organ donations.

Each type of donation saves lives. While we may be able to donate blood, platelets, tissue, marrow, and some organs at any time, most organs are donated upon death. A single donor can save up to 8 lives and help more than 75 people. A cousin of mine lost her son in a tragic accident many years ago, and she donated some of his organs to two different people. She has kept in touch with those two men throughout the years and finds her relationships with them to be very rewarding.

Some blood donors have been making donations as young as the age of 17. Donors can donate a pint of blood every 53 days. One pint of blood can save up to three people. If you’ve never thought about donation, you’re one of the 17 percent of non-donors. However, only 37 percent of the population of the United States is eligible to donate blood, so every donation is important.

What better way can you celebrate love for others than to become a donor!

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalDonorDay

If you’ve received the gift of an organ, tissue, marrow, platelets, or blood, share your story.

If you have donated blood write about why you do it and how it makes you feel. If you’re on an organ donor list, write about your process of deciding to donate.

Look into becoming a donor. Visit donatelifenw.org and organdonor.gov for more information on organ donation.

And for Valentine’s Day, write about love of any type: spouse, child(ren), pets, friends, family, favorite activities, or whatever you feel loving toward on this day!