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Red Cross needs help saving lives

For those on the front lines, it is a never ending battle. Every natural disaster or human tragedy drives up the demand that already far exceeds the supply.

That is the challenge facing the American Red Cross organization as it continually battles shortages of all blood types and often faces critical needs for O positive and A positive.

Mother Nature has had a significant impact on both the supply and the demand as bad weather, Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee have cancelled events and also increased the need.

It goes without saying that blood is vital to life and having ample supplies at area hospitals is important when it comes to saving lives.

The Red Cross hosts blood drives nearly every week across our region and it is easy to provide this gift of life.

Those interested in donating can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-700-733-2767) or go online at www.redcrossblood.org to find local blood drives in their area and schedule an appointment. Appointments are encouraged, but walk-in donors are welcome.

To be eligible to donate, individuals must be 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in many states), meet height and weight requirements (at least 110 pounds based on height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Donors must have a Red Cross card or other form of photo ID.

An act of kindness that may only take a few minutes can often be the difference between life and death for many Americans.