Signs All Over The World Are Missing Letters, But It's Not Because Of Vandalism

Three letters that are so important.

Some of the biggest companies in the world are missing letters on their signs in 21 countries, but the reason why has nothing to do with vandalism. All of the signs are only missing the letters A, B, and O, representing the blood types that are in constant need around the world. The #MissingType campaign by the Red Cross is hoping these signs will encourage people to give their "letters" and fill the need.

In the United States alone, blood transfusions are needed every 2 seconds, adding up to 36,000 units every per day. While many people know blood is needed after a serious injury, it is also used to treat people who have certain blood disorders like sickle cell anemia or those who are undergoing chemotherapy. Unfortunately, fewer than 10 percent of people who are eligible to donate blood actually do, creating a constant need for more blood.

Here are some examples of how brands around the world are drawing attention to this incredibly important cause:

The campaign has also brought renewed attention to the fact that most gay men cannot donate blood. Though the lifetime ban has been lifted, men still have to wait until it has been 12 months since their last sexual encounter to donate, with no regard for whether someone has only had one partner or used protection. There are no blanket restrictions for heterosexuals, whose sexual history only matters if they have an STD. 

Getting rid of the lifetime ban was a big step forward, but there is still work to do in making sure that restrictions are based on scientific evidence, not prejudice.

Want to help out?

Of course, the best thing to do is find a blood drive. Once you've given your letters to those who need it most, join the #MissingType campaign on social media to encourage others to do the same.

(H/T: Mashable)

Cover image: Singapore Botanical Garden, Microsoft UK, IAmsterdam