Donate Blood and Save a Life

By: Nicole Morten Email
By: Nicole Morten Email

The great thing about the residents here in the Panhandle, is their tenacious ability to lend a helping hand. Tuesday, members of the community can not only lend a helping hand, but can also help save a life by donating blood.

Bill Byrd Kia in Panama City will be kicking off their First Blood Drive Tuesday afternoon. The American Red Cross is helping out as well, and says the winter season is an especially critical time of year, as blood donations decline.

The Blood Drive will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at Bill Byrd Kia, on East 15th Street. (Click on Map Icon above to get directions to location.)

“We wanted to be part our community and step up to the plate, of course the winter months being as cold as they have been, we wanted to host our first ever Blood Drive at Bill Byrd Kia today,” said Chris Burnham, Service and Parts Director, of Bill Byrd Kia. “We wanted to do as much as we could for our community, and we felt like this would be a good opportunity to give back."

“Why is it so important to give blood especially during this time of year?” asked NewsChannel 7’s Nicole Morten. “It’s very very important this time of year because our donors seem to slow down during the winter months,” said Gina Powell, American Red Cross Account Manager. “Just one car accident can wipe out an entire blood supply, so we really need everyone to know how important it really is.”

One person can potentially save three lives by donating one pint of blood. “That’s right, blood is separated into three components – blood, platelets and plasma,” said Powell.

In a statement from the American Red Cross, “Because it takes up to three days for blood to be processed and made available to hospitals, it is important that a donation be made ahead of an emergency. If everyone who was eligible would donate four times a year, there would never be a blood shortage.”

Burnham and Powell hope to reach 75-pints of blood or more Tuesday afternoon, which would be equivalent to 75 volunteers walking through the door, donating blood.

“One of the great perks though,” said Burnham, “Not only are the volunteers being rewarded by helping to save a life, but we here at Byrd Kia will also be giving away incentives and door prizes. Every presenting volunteer donor at an American Red Cross blood drive or donor center will be entered into a regional drawing for a $1000 gift card as part of the 'Make a Resolution' promotion.”

For more information call Bill Byrd Kia at: (850) 872-0444.

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