Nonprofit regional blood center, Blood Assurance, is calling on community members to take time this winter to give blood. "The holiday season brings great joy to many people, but these months also bring fewer blood donors," officials said.
Blood Assurance sees a decrease in donors every year starting the week of Thanksgiving through January. The need, however, increases during this time. "More people are traveling and sick during these months, leading to higher blood usage. The usage increases, but less people come to donate. This can lead to severe shortages," officials said.
“Donating blood is a great way to give back to the community,” said Jay Baumgartner, executive director of community relations at Blood Assurance, “It takes roughly thirty minutes from start to finish, and you can save three lives with every donation. We hope you will consider giving blood this holiday season and all through January to help us combat the increased need.”
All donors in November will receive a long-sleeve fall themed shirt and all donors 18 years and older will be entered to win an Apple watch. All donors in December will receive a winter-themed fleece blanket and all donors 18 and over will be entered to win a 50” smart TV.
To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.
To schedule an appointment at a donor center or blood drive near you, visit www.bloodassurance.org, call 800-962-0628 or text ‘BAGIVE ‘ to 44499.