WLOS and the American Red Cross team up for 25th annual blood drive

From the press release:

Buncombe County, June 14, 2012 – It started as an Asheville community blood drive on June 30, 1988 collecting 473 units of blood. Now a quarter of a century later, the WLOS Operation Blood Drive has not only remained an annual tradition, it continues to grow and help save more lives. In 2011, WLOS Operation Blood Drive collected 626 units of lifesaving blood. This year, we’re aiming to do even more, but we can’t make history without the generous help and support of the community.

Join the American Red Cross—Help save lives and be a part of history at the 25th annual WLOS Operation Blood Drive!

Thursday, June 21, 2012
7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Those who come out to donate will receive a special M*A*S*H-themed Operation Blood Drive t-shirt and will also be automatically registered into a regional drawing to win a $1,000 gift card.

WLOS Anchor Jay Siltzer is a cancer survivor and blood recipient. Siltzer donated blood for the first time earlier this year with the American Red Cross, and he plans to roll up his sleeve again at Operation Blood Drive. “I know firsthand what it’s like to need and receive blood,” Siltzer said. “Now, having the opportunity to return the ‘Gift of Life’ is especially meaningful.”

Give the Gift of Life at one of these two locations:

Asheville location:
Trinity Baptist Church
216 Shelburne Road
To schedule an appointment call 828-258-3888, ext. 414 or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code OBDAsheville.

Hendersonville location:
Grace Lutheran Church
1245 6th Avenue West
To schedule an appointment call 828-693-5605 or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code OBDHendersonville.

Dick Miley has been the blood drive coordinator at the Grace Lutheran Church location for five years. His volunteers are working non-stop to spread the word and help people sign up, including having a “calling party,” where they call about 700 previous Operation Blood Drive blood donors. “We want to make it fun for everyone, and this year’s theme is M*A*S*H, after the TV show,” said Miley. “It’s truly a community-wide effort, and our church is blessed to be able to be a blessing to others.”

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides blood to 103 hospitals and needs to have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be safely given every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.


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