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Last updateWed, 23 Jul 2014 7am

You are here: Home Opinion Paula I. Bryant ‘Summer of Stories’

‘Summer of Stories’

The American Red Cross is launching the “Summer of Stories” campaign to share the personal impact blood and platelet donors can have on a patient in need and to help ensure a sufficient blood supply is available in the months ahead.

Ironically, just as the Red Cross was launching its summer blood campaign last week, my family was experiencing first hand the importance of having lifesaving blood products available at a moment’s notice.

Blood is something we all take for granted until you start losing it or your body isn’t properly making it like it should.

That’s when one sees how really important it is to donate blood (if you can) to help your fellow man.

Giving blood is not something people think about doing, especially on activity-filled summer days that never seem to end. 

Summer is a time for diving in and grilling out. Time to watch the fireworks, to have a picnic, to root for the home team. 

But while many have fun making these memories, there are hospital patients counting on eligible donors to make time to give blood or platelets so they can continue making and sharing their own summer memories and stories.

“Stories are the glue that bind many of us together,” said Bob Lutjen, spokesman for the Appalachian Blood Services Region. “Whether you’ve needed blood, have given blood or simply want to share a fun summer memory, we want to hear from you.”

The Red Cross is asking all eligible blood and platelet donors to join its Summer of Stories campaign, now through Sept. 9. 

Through Summer of Stories, the organization hopes to encourage at least two more donors to give blood at every Red Cross blood drive this summer — above what’s expected — to help ensure lifesaving blood products continue to be available for those in need at a moment’s notice.

Historically, during the summer months of June, July and August, about two fewer donors give blood at each Red Cross blood drive than what patients need. But, this seasonal challenge can be overcome two generous donors at a time, at every blood drive, every day. 

Individuals can visit to make an appointment to donate and share their donation story.

Live a story. Give a story. Donate blood or platelets. 

Locally, donors can give blood at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston on Thursday, June 27, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  

Also on Thursday, June 27, from noon to 6 p.m. our friends in the northern portion of Halifax County can give blood at Childrey Baptist Church located on Childrey Church Road in Nathalie.

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit for more information and to make an appointment to help save lives.

I know my family surely appreciates it.