To help bring awareness to the need for blood donations, the American Red Cross is getting some help from the Atlanta Falcons.
Through Aug. 17, anyone who donates blood or platelets at an American Red Cross blood donor center will have a chance to win a Falcons helmet signed by coach Mike Smith or two tickets to a preseason home game.
Decreased blood donations during the summer make it difficult to supply local hospitals with the blood needed for patients, say Red Cross officials. The Southern region needs 1,200 blood donations each weekday in order to adequately supply more than 130 hospitals and health care facilities. A regional call for more blood and platelet donors, issued in July, is still in effect, and supplies of type O and B blood are especially low.
Through Aug. 17, the Red Cross will hold a blood drive at the Gainesville Donor Center, 311 Jesse Jewell Parkway SW, Suite 102. Hours are: noon to 7 p.m. Monday through Wednesday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday through Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Sunday.
Most healthy people age 17 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds can give blood.