As summer temperatures rise, the need for blood rises also.
"In the summertime, you have a lot of people who are leaving to go on vacation," said Pam Tucker, Columbia County's Emergency Services director. "Just simply because of the heat and everything else, you just don't have as many people (donating)."
The annual EMA Community Summer Blood drive, which began in 1999, will be held Thursday inside the Evans Government Center Auditorium from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Two blood donation vehicles will be parked at the Roads and Bridges Department in Appling from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday.
"It's really nice and cool," Tucker said. "It's convenient, and it's inside with numerous beds set up at one time to do the donations."
All donations from the two-day blood drive will go to the Shepeard Community Blood Center, she said.
A variety of patients benefit from the donations, such as those involved in automobile accidents, those needing blood transfusions, open heart surgery and organ transplants, in addition to patients with cancer.
The donations also aid patients in the Joseph M. Still Burn Center.
Each donor will receive a free Chik-fil-A meal, a blood donor T-shirt, a coupon for a free medium cup of Dippin' Dots ice cream and a free mini physical. In addition, donors can register to win a $1,000 gas gift card and drawings for free movie tickets.
Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Donors need to be at least 17 years old, though 16-year-olds can donate blood with parental consent. Those interested in contributing must provide a photo identification card and must not have donated blood in the past eight weeks.
For information, contact Tucker at (706) 868-3303 or visit www.columbiacounty ga.gov.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.