By GRACE GADDY
PALESTINE — Palestine Lowe’s will host a blood drive with Carter BloodCare from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday in the parking lot at 2715 S. Loop 256.
Linda Goelzer, director of public relations for Carter Bloodcare, said that donations are highly sought after this time of year, a need that has only been amplified with the recent icy weather.
“Since Friday, we are really greatly in need of donors right now. It's always troubling at this time of year... Holidays are always our toughest collection time,” she said.
Goelzer said in larger cities donor turnout and overall collections have been low due to the weather.
“The cold weather shut us down,” she said. “So (the need) really is quite astronomical. I think the biggest message right now is that we are at less-than-preferred levels on several types of blood.”
Goelzer said that the typical demand for blood transfusions falls within 600-800 orders per day within the Carter BloodCare service area.
“I think the thing people too may not realize is that we service a lot of trauma centers, children's hospitals, (and) East Texas has a lot of heart hospitals,” she said. “So if there's any question in your mind of whether it's not going to be used, it will be,” she said.
Something local residents might want to consider, she added, is to make giving blood a Christmastime family tradition — as it could be one of the greatest gifts some people could receive.
“People maybe could even start a new tradition. Some people like to do volunteer work when the kids are out of school, and we hope that they consider giving blood together.”
Potential blood donors can volunteer beginning at age 16 with a parent’s consent, and 17-year-olds can give independently. There is no upper age limit for giving blood. Goelzer said they've had people as old as 104 turn out to give blood. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good general health and present a photo ID each time they give. It is also recommended that donors eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water before giving blood.
This month is “Mavs Mania” month at Carter BloodCare, meaning those who give blood in December receive a buy-one-get-one ticket voucher for a game, plus a Mavericks tote bag.
Goelzer said Palestine had always been supportive of Carter BloodCare, and Lowe's provides a great all-in-one holiday gifting environment.
“Get your gifts at Lowe's, and you can come and give blood too,” Goelzer said with a laugh.
For more information about donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call Carter BloodCare at 1-800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.
Carter BloodCare is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that operates on behalf of patients in 50-plus Texas counties. With volunteer blood donors, Carter BloodCare is the primary provider of blood transfusion services for more than 200 Texas health care facilities and provides more than 440,000 units of lifesaving blood components for patients annually.