The South African National Blood Service (SANBS) will on Tuesday host blood donation sites at hundreds of locations all over South Africa to mark Nelson Mandela International Day.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed Mandela's birthday, 18 July, as Nelson Mandela International Day in 2009. The day calls on individuals to donate 67 minutes doing something for others, commemorating the 67 years that Mandela had been a part of the movement for liberation.
Mandela Day is inspired by a call Madiba made for the next generation to take on the burden of leadership in addressing the world's social injustices.
SANBS National Marketing Manager, Silungile Mlambo, said the SANBS's theme for Mandela Day is 'It's not just blood, it's saving a nation'.
"Every year on 18 July, people around the globe do their bit in support of Mandela Day to make the world a better place. But how many will be able to say they saved the lives of three people? You will be able to donate blood, if you visit any of our hundreds of Mandela Day sites around South Africa," said Mlambo.
By donating a unit of blood every eight weeks, Mlambo said blood donors will be living up to the ideal of Mandela Day by performing voluntary service throughout the year.
"Every time they do, they are potentially saving the lives of three people. What better way to honour the life and service of Nelson Mandela.
"If you want to make a difference on Mandela Day and you don't know how, or you're already doing something but you'd like to do more, visit one of our donation sites. Donation is quick and easy - and it's a lifesaver," said Mlambo.
Donors can call the SANBS on 0800 11 9031, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on http://bit.ly/NMD-Blood-donation-2017 to find their nearest donation site.