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Our opinion: Please share the gift of life

Severe winter weather conditions in about 24 states, including Georgia, as well as the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period, have resulted in a severe, critical shortage of blood by the American Red Cross. Many of the blood drives, approximately 215, scheduled for December through the first weeks of January, had to be cancelled due to snow and/or ice. During busy holiday periods, many people don’t take the time to stop and donate blood.
This has resulted in an emergency situation with 7,500 uncollected blood and platelet donations. The American Red Cross considers this a national crisis.
Many citizens are unaware of the vital need for blood every single day. Blood transfusions are needed to treat accident victims, and people undergoing emergency or non-emergency surgeries. But there are also many cancer patients who require blood transfusions in order to continue their fight for life. One blood donation could help to save up to three lives!
The American Red Cross has a desperate need for O positive blood donors, the most common blood type. Your donation could help to save lives, many even yours or that of a loved one.
Donating blood only takes an hour out of your day, from start to finish. It is a painless and safe procedure, and we guarantee that you will feel good for the rest of the day because you have given of yourself for the benefit of others.
Blood donation is always very important to the American Red Cross but now, more than ever, people willing to donate are needed.
Think about it: for something that takes so little time or effort, you can help provide the most vulnerable patients with critical medical care. Some do not have time to wait for blood; they need it today in order to hang onto life.
Go ahead, and make an appointment. It costs you nothing and you will never know how rewarding the experience is until you do so. Visit redcross.org or call 1-800-733-2767.