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Blood donors give regardless of reward
Clark Jarrett prepares blood donor Jacob Browning's arm Monday afternoon at the Gainesville Red Cross donor center on Jesse Jewell Parkway.

Gainesville residents were given an extra reason to donate blood during the Memorial Day weekend.

Per a partnership between the American Red Cross and Music Saves Lives, people who donated blood during the three-day holiday weekend were given VIP access passes to The Vans Warped Tour on July 9 at the Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta.

Don Wofford was one volunteer who was giving blood Monday afternoon at the Gainesville donor center.

"I give on a regular basis, and they called and said that they had a need for platelets," he said.

Platelets are tiny fragments of cells made in the bone marrow and released into the blood stream in the same way as red blood cells. They are essential to stop bleeding and bruising.

Wofford also believes that there is a need for giving blood.

"My mom was in the hospital once and needed some blood. I just try to help folks out as much as I can."

Chuck Reed, an O-positive donor, was also at the Gainesville donor center Monday.

"I'm fairly regular; I come about three or four times a year," he said.

Reed thinks that it's good to donate because you "help people out."

Tiffany Davis of Buford was one of four Red Cross members who were helping out with the Gainesville blood drive.

"We have six whole blood donors signed up to come and four for platelets today," she said.

Davis said they also expected to have walk-ins.

She believes that it is particularly important for men to donate blood.

"If they have high blood pressure, it can help them. If they have too much iron, this is not good. So giving blood can help."

Davis also said the need for people with O-type blood and B-type is critical right now.

The Red Cross members at the Gainesville donor center were also giving out umbrellas on Monday to all donors in honor of the holiday.

Music Saves Lives is a program that was created to shine a light on the need for blood donors who are of high school and college age. Both high school and college students have such an impact on the American Red Cross throughout the school year that about 25 percent of all blood collected in the southern region every year comes from school blood drives.

During the summer, however, when it is a critical time for blood donations, many students do not to donate.

To adequately supply more than 130 hospitals throughout the southern region, there needs to be 1,200 blood donations each weekday.

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