Red Cross blood donations change hours

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The American Red Cross desperately needs the help of Region 8 to gather the blood it needs.

As a result, donor center employees are making some changes they hope will better suit donors needs.

Donor Recruitment Representative for the American Red Cross, Bob Draper, says they decided to change the donor center's hours in the hopes of increasing their meager blood supply.

"We're trying to be as accommodating as possible. we're hoping that by changing the hours it will be more convenient and that more donors, will come in and donate the gift of life."

Draper says these hours are already in effect, "These hours were put into place immediately and we're faced with a situation where we're needing O positive and O negative blood, especially. So, if anyone has that blood type, please come by and visit the blood center or donate at one of the mobiles. We would appreciate the support."

Jonesboro resident and soldier Brandt Smith showed up Tuesday to donate blood.

Brandt has served one tour in Iraq and will be returning shortly.

He says people don't realize how vital their blood donations are to our troops.

He recalled one incident on his recent deployment where a fellow soldier's unit was attacked.

Brandt says the soldier would have lost his arm had it not been for the blood donations they rely on.

After experiencing first hand what a difference the blood supply makes he says the decision to donate and help save a life should easy, "It's just a few minutes of your time. It's not an every day thing that we're asking. Come out support those who have blood needs for medical or combat field environments."

Brandt says he hopes the hours do increase donations and he encourages everyone to give blood and support the troops fighting for our freedom, "Please do this for our nation and our people."

Whole blood hours are now ten to six Monday through Thursday, seven to two on Friday and Saturday, and eight to three on Sunday.

Platelet hours will be ten to five Monday through Thursday, seven to one Friday and Saturday and eight to two on Sunday.

The American Red Cross is faced with collecting five hundred units of blood a day.

The Red Cross Donor Center is located behind Wal-Mart on Highland at the corner of Bernard and Grant Street.

For more information about the American Red Cross and a schedule of the mobile unit, log onto their website.

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