Blood drives are vitally important during summer

The summer months pose challenges to American Red Cross blood drive coordinators, as donations tend to dip while individuals and families pack their schedule with fun summer activities.

To ensure that blood products are available to every patient in need, the Red Cross is kicking of its summer program to help boost donations during the difficult summer months. As part of that program, a bloodmobile will be held at the NYA Pavilion, hosted by the VFW Auxiliary, from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Anyone interested in participating can contact 467-2088 for an appointment.

This year’s program – "Live Life. Give Life." – began on May 21 and urges all eligible donors to give blood and give someone else a chance to live. And when donors participate this summer, they have a chance to win gift certificate packages through Winners can choose from hundreds of options to redeem the certificates including meals out, entertainment, trips, shopping sprees and more. See all the promotional rules at

To give blood, you must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old.

No artificial substitutes can replace human blood. When patients need blood, they rely on reserves built up by donors like you. If donors waited for an emergency to give blood it would be too late.

Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Blood and platelets can be used for trauma victims – due to accidents and burns – heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies, when there are complications during childbirth, and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease.