January 4, 2010

Florence, S.C. – Want to give a meaningful holiday gift? Give the ‘gift of life’ by donating blood. The American Red Cross invites donors to donate blood at the “It’s a Wonderful Life” blood drive 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at the Red Cross Florence Donor Center, 1555-B West Palmetto St.

Everyone who presents to donate at “It’s a Wonderful Life” blood drive will get an aluminum American Red Cross water bottle, free food, and a chance to win two Delta Air Lines domestic tickets. 

“The holiday season is one of the most difficult times of year to maintain an adequate supply of blood,” said Delisa English, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region. “The purpose of the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ blood drive is to make sure that blood will be on hospital shelves so that someone in need can recover and return home to their loved ones.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. The American Red Cross South Carolina Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to patients in 54 hospitals. Approximately 500 people need to give blood or platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days.  Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets.  Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet height and weight requirements.