After a strong start to the new year as far as blood donations go, the local blood supply is beginning to shrink.
As of Wednesday, Blood Assurance was in urgent need of most blood types, primarily O-positive and O-negative.
The nonprofit is now calling on community members to give the gift of life, especially with many school districts letting out for spring break in the coming weeks.
“The days and weeks leading up to spring break are crucial,” according to Christopher Swafford, chief operating officer for Blood Assurance. “Traumas increase over the vacation period and our shelves need to be fully stocked ahead of time to support patients at our local hospitals.”
Blood Assurance is offering a $25 e-gift card to anyone who donates at one of its fixed donation center locations through Feb. 28.
Donors can give back by scheduling an appointment at www.bloodassurance.org/schedule, calling 800-962-0628, or texting BAGIVE to 999777.
To be eligible to donate blood, donors must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.