There are many ways you can give back to our community during this challenging time, and one of those is by donating blood. Blood donations save lives.

There is always a demand for blood. I’ve never been turned away from a blood bank because of an oversupply of blood. Blood is not something you can manufacture, so health care facilities rely on volunteer donors for blood supply. By donating, you are helping vulnerable populations. Your blood is used for transfusions to help patients with cancer, sickle cell anemia, trauma, burns, and other life-threatening illnesses as well as surgery and organ transplant patients. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. According to the American Red Cross, only 3 percent of age-eligible people donate blood yearly.

Virginia Aparicio is a health and human sciences educator with Purdue Extension Elkhart County. She can be reached at 574-533-0554 or vaparici@purdue.edu.

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