Give the gift of blood, breastmilk, more and get paid for it

ORLANDO, Fla. – January is National Blood Donor Month. Blood banks have a difficult time collecting blood during the winter due to cold weather and seasonal illnesses. Add in a world-wide pandemic and hospitals all over the country are desperate for your blood. After giving away your A, B, or O, you may be thinking about what other things you can donate? And with 42% of Americans racking up holiday debt last year, it wouldn’t hurt if you get compensated too.

Besides dropping change here and there, there are things you can donate and get compensated for. With over 800 centers across the country, one of the most convenient options is plasma donation. “Donors are able to donate up to two days in a seven-day period, with at least one day in between donations,” said Casie Banks, Plasma Center Manager at BioLife Plasma Services. Compensation does fluctuate and varies by location, but overall, it’s being used to fight blood clots, immune deficiencies, and even COVID-19.

“My mom last year was in the hospital and she almost died, and they gave her plasma to help her with her condition,” said Brenda, a plasma donor.

One of the larger payouts for ladies is egg donation. The very selective screening process, possible complications, and lengthy recovery contribute to the hefty sum. And men, we haven’t left you out! Sperm donation is less risky and can happen frequently. You will still have to meet certain criteria, like living within an hour of the sperm bank. So, whatever you choose to donate … “If you qualify for it, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to help someone else,” said David, a plasma donor.

And don’t let your milk spoil... breastmilk, that is. Up to 5% of mothers don’t produce enough breastmilk, and the liquid also aids in premature development. Once you qualify at a milk bank, they will typically supply you with the appropriate storage. And don’t forget— even though you won’t get paid for your blood, many donation sites do give out gift cards to local stores.