Summer is typically a slow time for blood donations, but American Red Cross officials say the need for blood does not decrease. In fact, it's estimated that every two seconds, someone in the U.S. requires blood or platelets. Many of them right here on the Coast.
That's why Biloxi and Woolmarket are joining forces with the American Red Cross to get ahead of the problem. City leaders call the blood drives on May 15 and May 16 a friendly community challenge to help restock blood supplies, so local patients have blood when it's needed.
American Red Cross officials say that with the weather getting warmer and schools getting ready for summer break, this is the time of year when blood donations hit a lull.
Red Cross technician, Eden McNeil, says it only takes a few minutes to give, and each donation could save multiple lives.
"People in the hospital really need the blood. It only takes thirty minutes. We register you. You go into your health history, and that takes ten minutes. Then donating takes about ten minutes. And then you stick around ten minutes or so and get a snack and a drink, and that's it. You've saved three lives," McNeil said.
Biloxi's blood drive was at the Gruich Center Tuesday. The community challenge continues in Woolmarket Wednesday from 12 pm until 5 pm at the Woolmarket City Center.
If you want to donate and can't make a blood drive, you can set up a personal appointment by going to redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-733-2767.