CHARLOTTE — Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is once again asking the community to lend a hand for patients in need. But probably not in the way you’d think.
The local nonprofit blood center started off the new year with the launch of its Blood Donor Emoji campaign. To petition the Unicode Consortium to create an emoji depicting the lifesaving act of blood donation, they need signatures — 30,000 signatures to be exact. That’s where the public comes in.
“Every day, we ask people in our community to step up and donate blood for local patients in need,” CBCC President and CEO Martin Grable said. “Today, we’re just asking for your signature. We’re asking you and people around the globe to join us as we work to shine a spotlight on the incredible volunteers in every community who so generously give of themselves in such a remarkable way.”
Globally, 112.5 million blood donations are collected each year, according to World Health Organizations. CBCC thinks it’s time those millions of donors get the recognition they deserve, starting with their own special emoji.
“We can use these tiny cartoon images to do everything from express how funny we thought the latest viral cat video was to sharing what we ate for lunch,” CBCC Marketing Manager Kelly Singleton said. “The one thing we can’t do? Let our friends and family know we have just saved a life by donating blood. Together, we can raise awareness about the tremendous and constant demand for blood donors as we work to better support the needs of hospitals and patients in our own communities around the world. It’s time for a blood donor emoji.”
Emojis have quickly become a part of our global vernacular, finding their way into our text messages, emails and social media posts. According to Facebook, 5 billion emojis are sent each day on its Messenger platform alone.
Singleton says the #BloodDonorEmoji campaign will use the prevalence of emojis to create a positive change that will not only gather enough signatures to bring the petition in front of the Unicode Constortium, but also bring blood donation to the forefront of people’s minds.
CBCC is trying to garner the signatures by July 17, which is World Emoji Day.
Lifesavers around the world can join the #BloodDonorEmoji campaign by signing the petition at www.change.org/BloodDonorEmoji and using the hashtag on all social media platforms.