Lose your letters in support of blood donations

THE South African National Blood Service (SANBS) wants to (temporarily) ‘steal’ a few letters from your name – but it’s all in aid of a good cause.

In an innovative bid to attract new young blood donors, the blood service is taking part in the ‘International Missing Type’ campaign this week.

The campaign asks organisations to remove the letters A, B and O (symbolising the ‘missing’ blood types with the same letters) from their logos or names for a week.

Since launching globally a few years ago, the initiative has notched up phenomenal success, spurring thousands of new blood donors to sign up worldwide.

SANBS hopes this ‘disappearing act’ will similarly weave a special kind of magic here, where only 1% of South Africans donate blood regularly.

‘Imagine life without the letters A, B and O … let alone Scrabble!’ says Silungile Mlambo, SANBS’ Chief Marketing Officer.

‘South African big business has the power to change the fact that our country faces constant blood shortages – and save lives at the same time.

‘We’re asking local brands, sport teams, corporates and landmarks to tweak their logos and ‘donate’ their As, Bs and Os for just a week.

Deleting the letters of the main blood groups from your company’s name in your adverts, email signatures and other marketing material is a fun and interactive way to raise awareness of South Africa’s urgent need for new blood donors,’ Mlambo says.

The campaign runs until next Monday, with World Blood Donor Day falling on Thursday.

‘It really is critical for the SANBS to replenish blood stocks at this time of year, especially with the school holidays just around the corner.

‘This will inevitably cause a spike in the demand for blood transfusions,’ said Mlambo.

Corporates that have already signed up to participate include Outsurance (which will become *utsur*nce for the week) and Famous Brands (F*m*us *r*nds), as well as the Varsity Cup (V*rsity Cup) rugby tournament and the Lions rugby team (Li*ns).

Mlambo says other sports teams will also be asked to throw their support behind the campaign, while the public can get involved by deleting the ‘blood types’ from their names on social media for the week.

Visit www.sanbs.org.za or call 0800 11 90 31 for more information or to find out where to volunteer as a blood donor.

Join the #MissingType conversation on Twitter (@theSANBS), Facebook (@SANBS) and Instagram (@thesanbs).

  AUTHOR
Conelia Harry
Journalist

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