Drive for Life this weekend has new features

Drive for Life this weekend has new features

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - It is the time of year again where we ask Region 8 to help give the gift of life.

The annual Drive for Life Blood Drive is this weekend beginning Friday at the St. Bernards Auditorium.

Doors open on Friday at 10 a.m.

Michelle Rupp, Communications Manager for the American Red Cross, said while some may be hesitant to donate blood, it is something you or your family may need one day.

"You want that blood already on the shelves," Rupp said. "You want someone to have already donated long before you yourself might need it, and so that is another reason we encourage so many folks to come donate blood."

Those interested in giving blood can go to to make an appointment. By making an appointment you can set up a time that works best for you throughout the day.

This year, if you make an appointment, you will get an email allowing you to fill out your health history information before you arrive to donate blood. It's a part of the Rapid Pass feature.

Rupp said by completing the information before your appointment, you can cut down on the amount of time it takes to give blood.

No matter the time it takes, Rupp said it is worth it.

"It takes roughly 60 minutes from walking in to walking out, so in the time it takes to watch your favorite television show, you can save 3 lives," Rupp said. "It doesn't cost you anything but 60 minutes. That's a pretty huge thing."

Another feature at the 2016 Drive for Life is members of the American Red Cross Disaster Team will be there to sign donors up for smoke alarms for their homes.

"Through the smoke alarm program we have been able to donate roughly 100 smoke alarms throughout the region," Rupp said.

If that is something a family needs, Rupp highly encourages anyone to donate blood along with signing up for a smoke alarm.

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