Blood Center Needs Community's Help To Save Lives

Nearly thirty people stepped into the Blood Mobile during the center's two-day blood drive in front of the WalMart Supercenter in Gulfport.

Richard Duren is on vacation here in South Mississippi from Odessa, Texas.

He says for the last four years, giving blood has become a routine wherever he is.

"I always try to donate either blood or platelets or whatever I can. My mother-in-law...she died from cancer, so it just means a lot," said Duren.

And his generosity also means a lot to the Blood Center.

"During the summertime, our blood donations fall, so we are never ending asking people to please take time during the summer and give blood. People are busy traveling, going. Lots of times, summertime is a fun time where we tend to forget that people are still using blood at our hospitals during the summertime," said Blood Center representative Paula Merritt.

Merritt says heightened government regulations, especially for those who have traveled to various countries, have also contributed to a lack of blood donors.

But she encourages people to at least try to give blood now because with increased travel during the summer months, there are a lot of accidents, and the victims may need your help.

"When they do give one unit of blood, they are helping to save up to three patients lives. So that's three patients that you can touch with one unit," said Merritt.

A fact Merritt says proves one person can make all the difference.

All blood types are needed.