The holidays are wrapping up but the need for blood donations is still there, and Shepeard Community Blood Center is hoping residents are in the giving mood in the coming days.
The organization is conducting its annual blood drive during December in which they offer donors a free movie ticket. Bloodmobiles are located around the CSRA and one has been parked in front of the Regal Aiken Mall 8.
Michael Cassidy was donating blood on Thursday afternoon and said that he tries to do so three or four times a year. That day was his fourth donation for 2012.
Shepeard phlebotomist April Williams said this is the time of year that they really need donations because many people who frequently give blood are out of town or busy for the holidays.
She said one donation saves up to three lives, and could one day be that of a loved one or even your own.
“You never know if you need blood,” Williams said. “It actually saved my life because I needed a transfusion last year.”
Giving blood typically takes about 20 minutes. Shepeard Assistant Director of Community Resources Greg Bearden said they conduct a quick mini-physical by checking blood pressure, temperature and do a quick prick to the finger to check iron levels.
Bearden added that anyone who hasn’t given blood before but is hesitant to do so shouldn’t be. He said there is little to no pain involved, the phlebotomists do a great job and they offer an encouraging atmosphere.
Bearden said when waiting to give blood, if you start feeling nervous, just think of the lives you’re saving.
“The holidays are such a beautiful time to donate and give the gift of life,” Bearden said.
The blood drive at the movie theater will continue today through Monday from 3 to 7 p.m. at Regal Aiken Mall 8 located at 300 East Gate Drive.