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Red Cross needs help

It is something we take for granted, often never even crossing our minds until we see it, lose it or need it.

Blood, quite literally, gives us life.

But what about those in need? Without generous donors, tens of thousands of people would likely die each year.

March has been proclaimed Red Cross Month by President Barack Obama but it is always a good time to give what is, truly, the gift of life.

Although the Red Cross actually does much more than just collect these vital fluids, blood drives remain its most important function. But it wouldn’t be able to succeed in this without help from the community.

Blood drives were hosted this week at Rock Hill and Fairland high schools. Other schools and community organizations recently hosted drives of their own with each event focused on educating the public on the needs and increasing critical supplies.

Don’t let its name fool you, the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services is very much about our communities. It serves hospitals, patients and donors in parts of Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

The goal is to collect approximately 237,000 units of blood this year to supply nearly 100 hospitals.

Donation appointments may be scheduled at many Red Cross blood drives. To schedule your blood donation appointment where available, or to find a blood drive near you, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

March — or any month — is the perfect time to think about becoming a blood donor so that it will be there long before an emergency occurs.