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FFL: 'Tis the season to give blood

The American Red Cross exceeded its goal to collect 30 pints of blood last week by totaling 37 pints at the Fayetteville Free Library's first blood drive held Dec. 9.

"The FFL has a large community room that is ideal for an event like this, and we have a large patron base to tap into," said Brenda Shea, director of community relations, FFL. "We wanted to give people in our local community the opportunity to donate blood at a convenient location."

The success of the daytime event attracted many first-time donors, which both Shea and Kristin Crandall of the American Red Cross in Syracuse, found not only exciting, but also encouraging.

"I think the general consensus is that people truly realize the impact of their blood donation," Shea said. "There is no need to talk someone into it or convince them. All we had to do was present an opportunity and people were more than willing to help."

The American Red Cross is always in great need of O- as it's the universal blood type; anyone can receive it. A supply of O+ is a vital resource, too, because anyone with a positive blood type can receive it.

"That being said, we still need to collect from all blood types because the need is always there," Crandall said. "It's important that people realize how many people in our community they can help, and to understand who actually receives blood -- cancer patients, premature infants, and those with rare blood disorders."

In addition, every blood donation can save up to three lives.

December is a month when many people often assume the Red Cross is inundated with blood donations, but unfortunately it's the exact opposite. The same applies for the month of January.

"Although people are often in the giving spirit, they are also extremely busy and the weather can be unpredictable," she said.

The donation process is simple and takes just one hour. If you are in good health and weigh 110 pounds you should be fine to donate. For more information, contact 234-2200 or visit syrarc.org.

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