Altus-area residents are urged to take the Blood Donor Challenge with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI). Two upcoming blood drives give those who have never saved lives through blood donation the chance to step up and help local patients. The first drive will be held Thursday, March 17 at Jackson County Memorial Hospital from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the second will be held on Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Altus Air Force Base, south gate.
Healthy adults* can typically give and will receive Blood Donor Challenge T-shirts.
“Only 10 percent of those eligible to give actually donate blood at least annually,” said Daren Coats, Vice President Western Division Operations, Oklahoma Blood Institute. “We challenge those who don’t give regularly to overcome their excuses. Many who have taken the ‘challenge’ say they can’t believe how easy and gratifying it is to donate blood.”
All blood provided to patients in area hospitals is given by donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute. And, each donation can save as many as three patients’ lives. Some 154 hospitals across the state rely on OBI donors exclusively.
Donors wishing to make an international impact as well as a local one can support Global Blood Fund (GBF). It is a charity aimed at ending severe blood shortages in countries where, each year, 200,000 die simply due to a lack of safe blood. By giving up their T-shirts, donors enable OBI to financially contribute to GBF to make training, supplies and technology available for their struggling blood centers.
Call 877-340-8777 or visit obi.org for an appointment to donate. Walk-ins are welcome.
* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission; 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds; 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds