You can give the gift of life.
Blood banks in our region mirror the nation and are facing significant shortages.
We encourage our readers to consider giving blood.
Your generous donation of blood could help save a life.
We understand that not everyone can donate blood but those who can should give it serious consideration.
All blood types are needed.
Blood and blood platelets cannot be manufactured in a laboratory.
They must be donated.
The American Red Cross has said that someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.
That number is staggering and it is not uncommon in some locations for demand to exceed supply.
The Red Cross has also said that one blood donor can potentially save up to three lives.
Health-care leaders have explained that the summer months take a toll on the blood supply, and this year has been especially difficult in Valdosta.
Our hospital, South Georgia Medical Center, must have a ready supply of blood and cannot wait until there is an emergency and blood is instantly needed.
Donors are encouraged to donate now to ensure local hospitals have the blood needed to help patients suffering from traumas, cancers and chronic illnesses, health-care representatives said.
Donors must be at least 17 years old or 16 with parental permission, must weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. A photo ID is needed.
Bloodmobiles are frequently available throughout the community and blood drives are conducted at various locations throughout the year.
The American Red Cross and LifeSouth community blood centers are both good options for donating blood or for helping your business or organization in hosting a blood drive.
You can check with both organizations to find out the most convenient time and location.
They are many opportunities to serve others in our community through volunteerism and donations.
No need, however, is more immediate or important to saving lives than giving the gift of life — your blood.