From: Joellen Barak
Biomedical Services Coordinator for the American Red Cross in Winona/Wabasha/Goodhue Counties
Please mark your calendar for August 7. While itís true that itís also National Lighthouse Day, what Iím referring to is the Winona Community Challenge blood drive. Itís at the Riverport Inn on that day from noon to 6 p.m.
The American Red Cross always experiences a decline in donations in the summer, and this summer is no exception. Weíve collected 10% less than expected, or about 50,000 units nationwide. Unfortunately, the need for blood doesnít decline; every two seconds, someone in the U.S. will receive blood. And it is only through the generosity of volunteer donors that we can replenish the blood supply and make sure everyone who needs blood gets it.
You can help patients who need blood by participating in the Community Challenge drive on August 7. To give blood, you need to be at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in generally good health. Even if you just got a tattoo, are on medication, or have a chronic medical condition, you may be eligible to donate.
You may go to wwww.redcrossblood.org for more information on eligibility or for answers to other questions you may have. You may also make an appointment online for the Winona Community Challenge blood drive, or call the Red Cross office at 452-4258. Walk-ins are always welcome, but we encourage appointments whenever possible.
A single blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives, so please give to help your neighbors in need.