Heather Fountain donates blood during the 2002 blood drive at the Evans Government Center. This year's drive will be Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Shepeard Community Blood Center is begging.
"Right now, there is a critical appeal for the blood everywhere," said Cindi Reeves, community relations coordinator for Shepeard Community Blood Center.
Many elective surgeries have been postponed because of the lack of blood, Reeves said.
The Columbia County Emergency Services Division is holding its semiannual blood drive to help replenish the dwindling January supplies. The drive, set for Thursday will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Evans Government Complex auditorium, Building A, at 630 Ronald Reagan Drive, Evans. Donors are provided free food and a T-shirt.
Blood supplies are normally low in January because of people not donating as much during the holidays because they are busy shopping and traveling. Also, many people who put off surgery until the end of the year for insurance reasons want to get it done before the new year, Reeves said. More blood is used during the holidays because of increased travel and accidents.
"If we have a disaster and our supplies are this low, we have just added another disaster on top of it," said Pam Tucker, Emergency ServicesDivision director and event organizer.
Tucker organized the blood drive last January and July, the two times of year when blood supplies can reach critical lows. Almost 150 people donated blood last January and another 108 gave at the July drive, Tucker said.
"We do two big drives with them a year," Reeves said. "Most of the time, their drives bring in 100 or more donors. Most of our drives average, when we send out the Bloodmobile or an inside drive, 30 to 40, if that is a good day. Any drive that brings in more than 100 donors is very, very successful. That will definitely help us out."
Shepeard is the only local blood supplier and provides it to all 12 area hospitals upon request. All donated blood stays in the community. With unsure status of our military, Reeves would like to be able to supply blood to them if needed.
"It is a healthy thing to do. People do not realize that giving blood is very healthy for you. It circulates your blood and gets your red blood cells pumping and going," Reeves said. "People that have heart disease are strongly encouraged to donate blood."
For more information about the drive, call Tucker at 868-3303 or email her at email@example.com.
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