(Opelika, AL)- The summer is generally associated with vacation, recreation and relaxation. But for those who find themselves in need of blood due to accidents, natural disasters or the need for surgery, summer can also be a time of uncertainty, as blood stocks are generally low during the season in which they are most needed.
Volunteer blood donors in Mobile and Baldwin counties will get a chance to give blood and save lives at the 92 Zew and WNSP “Independence Day” blood drive, scheduled for Monday, July 2 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Columbia Southern University, located at 21982 University lane in Gulf Shores; and Tuesday, July 3 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Walmart Semmes, located at 7855 Moffatt Road in Semmes.
This drive is a “Bloodstock” drive, meaning that the student organizer will be entered into a drawing for an American Red Cross scholarship if the drive meets or exceeds its pre-determined goal.
The summer is tough on the blood supply in our region for several reasons. First of all, school is out during the summer months. Students in high school and college comprise 21 percent of blood donors in this region, and when they aren’t available for donations at their respective schools, the blood inventory suffers. Also, because the summertime is a period filled with outdoor recreation, increased outside labor and more frequent vacation travel, an increase in the number of accidents has historically served to further deplete the blood supply.
The situation is further compounded by the increase in the frequency of dangerous tropical activity during the summer months in the form of hurricanes and tropical storms, both of which not only cause an increase in the demand for blood but also disrupt collection efforts. These factors together create one of the toughest times of the year for the blood inventory, and the American Red Cross counts on selfless donors to roll up their sleeves and fill in the gaps in the blood supply through summer blood drives.
Because blood can be separated into three components – blood, platelets and plasma – one donation can benefit up to three individuals. Because it takes up to three days for blood to be processed and made available to hospitals, it is important that a donation be made ahead of an emergency. If everyone who was eligible would donate four times a year, there would never be a blood shortage.
All presenting volunteer donors in the months of July, August and September are entered into the July “Super Summer Save” promotion for a chance at $3,000 in American Express gift cards. Also, donors will be eligible for door prizes to be given away throughout the day.
To make an appointment, please visit www.redcrossblood.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.