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Red Cross Holding Blood Drives

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Start the new year with a new attitude: "Live Life, Give Life." Everyone who donates blood or platelets with the American Red Cross in January 2008 will get a chance to win one of two $500 gift cards. At the end of the month, the Red Cross will randomly select two winners in the Carolinas Region to receive the grand prizes.

Our Blood Center will be open on Monday, December 31 from 8:00am-2:00pm, Wednesday, January 2 from 12:00pm-6:00pm, Thursday, January 3 from 3:00pm-6:00pm, Friday, January 4 from 8:00am to 2:00pm. We will have Saturday, January 5th hours from 8:00am-12:00pm and Sunday, January 6th hours from 12:00pm-4:00pm. We will be back to our regular schedule with Monday, January 7th and Wednesday, January 9th hours of 12:00pm-6:00pm and Friday hours or 8:00am-2:00pm.

There are mobile blood drives in the area that also need your support. We will have the new long sleeve T-shirts for all donors until at least January 6th or further if possible. "During the holidays-essentially from Thanksgiving to well beyond New Year's-doctors often have to make tough decisions about which patients receive blood first when the inventory is low," said Dr. Evelyn Lockhart, chief medical officer, American Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region. "The Red Cross hopes that promotions such as 'Live Life, Give Life' will motivate eligible blood donors to give blood in January to help make sure that blood is available for everyone who needs a life-saving transfusion." The reduction in blood donors during the holiday season is due to a mix of variables including flu and other winter illnesses, cancellation of donation appointments and blood drives, and the closing of high schools, colleges and many businesses. In addition, new studies indicate that the pool of eligible donors represents about 37 percent of the population with only about 8 percent of those eligible actually donating. About four million people in the United States need blood each year, and the overwhelming majority would die without it.

The Carolinas Blood Services Region, one of 36 American Red Cross Blood Services regions throughout the country, provides life-saving blood to patients in 103 hospitals. About 1,600 people need to give blood each weekday to meet hospital demand. There is no substitute for blood; volunteer donors are the only source. Blood donors must be at least 17 years old, in generally good health, and weigh 110 pounds or more. It is safe to give blood every 56 days. Call 1-800-GIVE LIFE or go to www.redcrossblood.org to schedule a donation appointment or to learn more about giving blood.

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