One Blood “Big Red Bus” blood drive back in Panama City Friday

The holiday season is upon us, and while everyone is busy, the need for blood donations never stops.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 6:45 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Blood donations are vital for the overall health of our nation.

After all, the blood doesn’t appear out of thin air.

“The need never stops, that remains constant. The need for blood is every day. We need people to be donating blood to ensure that ready blood supply. Because as quickly as it’s donated, it’s tested, processed, and it’s on its way to help a patient,” said Susan Forbes, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for One Blood.

That’s why One Blood’s “Big Red Bus” is back in Panama City.

The bus is setting up shop at Bill Byrd Kia on Friday.

Anyone eligible and willing to donate is encouraged to stop by.

“It’s such an easy process, we have a phenomenal front-line team. The process is very simple,” Forbes said.

While the process might be simple, the results are anything but.

“You literally have the power to help save somebody’s life. It’s an incredible gift that you can provide to somebody to literally give them their life back,” said Forbes.

One Blood says that they can’t pull off these blood drives without local sponsors.

“We like to help [the] people of Bay County. We can provide a place for everyone to come, there’s plenty of parking, plenty of room,” said J.R. Ezzell, General Manager of Bill Byrd Kia.

Organizers say it’s especially important to give back during this time of year.

“The holiday season reminds us about family and what we can do to help others. A blood drive is a good way to show that for the community,” Ezzell said.

Anyone who donates on Friday will get more than the feeling of helping others. They will also receive a $20 gift card, a blanket, and a free wellness check.

“They’re gonna check your blood pressure, they’re gonna check your cholesterol, so it’s a good wellness health check,” said Ezzell.

“When donors come on to the Big Red Bus, you leave there knowing that you have literally helped give somebody a second chance at life,” Forbes said.

The address for Bill Byrd Kia is 2435 East 15th St, Panama City, FL, 32405.

The drive will take place on Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.