Take time to donate a critical gift for Christmas

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 20, 2016

As schools close for Christmas vacation, families are packing up the minivans and preparing to head out to visit family and friends, don’t forget to drive safely.

By now, it’s well known that the rate of car accidents increases during the holiday season. With that in mind, the need for blood donations becomes critical.

Oftentimes, blood donations start to decline this time of year as people become busier with Christmas preparations or are out of town celebrating with family.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

At the same time, others use their time off from work for elective surgeries, increasing the demand for blood supplies in hospitals. Meanwhile, hospitals are taking in more trauma patients due to the rise in accidents. Thus, the vital resource reaches a critical point with such a high demand and low supply.

For those that have a spare moment this holiday, find a local blood donation center and give a different kind of Christmas gift. Whether you’re home in Pearl River County or visiting family elsewhere, it’s not hard to find a donation center that will help you through the process.

Donating blood as a family is a good way to spend time volunteering together, while also introducing children to the process at an early age. Seeing their parents donate will get them thinking about donating when they’re old enough.

Before donating, it’s important to eat foods rich in iron and vitamin C. Frequent donors should take iron supplements to replace what is lost. Donors must be at least 17-years-old and weigh at least 110 pounds, according to the Red Cross.

They also allow donors to pre-register online to ensure a faster donation process. Donations can be made every eight weeks, or every seven days for platelet donations. The Blood Center in Picayune is located at 318 Memorial Blvd. and is open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

This holiday season, consider donating the gift of life.