Anyone who presents to donate blood or platelets from July 1 through August 31 will automatically be entered in a grand prize drawing for a year's supply of gas, valued at $2,400.00, or one of five $100.00 gas cards offered as runner-up prizes.***
"Because of vacations and most schools being out of session, it's challenging to have enough blood supplies on hand for any and all patients in need," stated Susie Wade, Donor Resource Marketing Specialist, of the Greater Alleghenies Region.
She explained that 20% of the 100-county blood region's annual blood donations are given at Red Cross blood drives held at high schools, colleges and universities.
"There is an ongoing need for blood donors; we need to collect an average nearly 1,000 units of blood each weekday to meet patient need at the 97 hospitals served by the Greater Alleghenies Region, including St. Mary's Medical Center and Cabell Huntington Hospital.
"We're hopeful that this raffle will generate additional interest in giving blood this summer so that we can provide an uninterrupted supply of blood products for accident victims, cancer patients, surgery patients and others."
As of this morning, the 100-county region has just a little less than a day's supply of O negative and O positive blood. A one-day supply of type O negative blood equals just 117 units of blood.
Upcoming area Red Cross blood drives include:
Saturday, August 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the First Church of Christ, Railroad Avenue, Chapmanville.
To donate blood, individuals:
* Must be at least 17 years old (16 years old in Maryland and Pennsylvania with parental consent; 16-year-olds in Kentucky and Virginia eligible to donate with parental consent as of July 15, 2008)
* Weigh at least 110 pounds
* Be in generally good health
"Many individuals taking medication for chronic conditions may continue to donate blood. Those with specific eligibility questions should call 1 (800) 542-5663 and ask to speak to someone in Nursing Collections," she said.
Donation appointments may be scheduled at many Red Cross blood drives. To schedule your blood donation appointment where available, or to find a blood drive near you, visit www.redcrosslife.org or call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543).
The Greater Alleghenies Region directly serves hospitals, patients and donors in a 100-county area in Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia, with more than five-dozen blood products and related services, and also supports blood needs experienced by patients elsewhere in hospitals served through Red Cross Blood Services.
*** "Gas for a Year" value based upon 12,000 miles driven annually at 20 mpg at $4.00 per gallon of gas.