It's that time of year when seemingly every non-profit organization is asking for donations, and one of them will stop at nothing short of taking blood.
Linda Walker, the coordinator with Shepeard Community Blood Center said the center has less than five units of O positive blood on their shelves.
"We need O positive desperately," Ms. Walker said. "The local hospitals are experiencing very heavy usage this week."
The sudden demand is common during the holidays, when there appears to be more emergencies, Ms. Walker said. Also, she said the end of the year creates an influx because of surgeries such as joint replacements.
"People are having their elective surgeries done before they have to pay their next deductible," she said. "So things are just multiplying. We are having a lot of people come in and donate, but it is going out as fast as it comes in."
To help with the shortage, Ms. Walker said Shepeard has held several blood drives in McDuffie County within the last week. The next one will be from 8-11:30 a.m., Friday, Dec. 21 at Thomson City Hall. Everyone who donates will receive a free long-sleeve T-shirt and be entered in a drawing for a Nintendo Wii.
All donors must be at least 17 years of age and weigh at least 110 pounds, Ms. Walker said. A 16-year-old may donate if their parent signs a permission form.
Ms. Walker recommends donors prepare for a blood drive a couple of days in advance by drinking a lot of fluids and eating meals with iron rich foods.
For more information, call 706-737-4551.