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Mt. Zion Lodge #10 hosts Red Cross blood drive to honor Armed Forces Day

Greater Ozarks-Arkansas

May 7, 2014
 

BATESVILLE, Ark.  — The men and women who are actively serving in all branches of the United States armed forces make many sacrifices. They spend time away from their families, sometimes in the line of fire, to serve and protect Americans. On May 17, Armed Forces Day, the Mount Zion Lodge #10 invites the community to honor that sacrifice by helping save lives at its American Red Cross blood drive.

“Armed Forces Day is not a widely observed holiday, but we felt like it would be a good day to honor the service men and women of our country,” said Ted Stepanek, Junior Warden of Mt. Zion Lodge #10 and blood drive coordinator. “Giving up one hour to give blood to help save lives seems like a small sacrifice in comparison to what these military members give daily.”

The Red Cross has long been connected to providing services for the military, dating back to Red Cross President Clara Barton recruiting nurses to help at Army medical camps during the Spanish-American War. The Red Cross began its blood donor project during World War II, collecting 13.3 million units of blood for American servicemen.

Today, the Red Cross provides about 400,000 services to members of the military and veterans every year, including providing blood to those served by about 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

“We hope that the community will take part in this blood drive,” Stepanek said. “We would like to see it grow and become an annual event, where we can help save lives to honor those military members currently serving to keep us safe and free.”

Armed Forces Day blood drive:

Saturday, May 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Mt. Zion Lodge #10, 985 Batesville Blvd., Batesville, Arkansas

“One person’s blood donation could help save up to three lives,” said Scott Caswell, CEO of the Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region. “We may not all be capable of joining the armed forces, but this is something that many of us can do to help honor those who serve and offer help to those in need.”

Blood donations help treat accident victims, cancer patients, organ transplant recipients, premature babies and those with blood disorders like sickle cell disease. On a normal day, someone in the U.S. needs blood about every two seconds.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in Arkansas), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.