Beginning in May, local residents will be able to save a life by donating blood on Saturday.
In an ongoing effort to increase collections and meet local demands, Marsh Regional Blood Center (MRBC) will begin offering the opportunity to donate blood at its Julia Davis Collection Center in Kingsport the first Saturday of every month between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
"We continue to adapt and are working diligently to meet local needs," said Karen West, MRBC system manager. "Since the beginning of 2007, Marsh has collected an average of 460 units of blood each week, while the minimum weekly goal is 475 units. Our short-term vision is to consistently reach 500 units every week, which is a more reasonable estimate of what is truly needed.
"We believe that providing hours of operation one Saturday each month will not only give our existing donors convenient options, but will also open the door to a new group of blood donors who would like to visit us but are not able to do so on weekdays."
Assorted refreshments and T-shirts are always available following donation, and Marsh will conduct random drawings from those who visit its Kingsport collection center on Saturdays. One winner each Saturday will receive a $50 Wal-Mart gift card.
All blood types are currently needed, with types A and O being in especially high demand. Individuals who are currently in good health are asked to visit and donate. Also, those who have not given blood recently or never donated are encouraged to visit or contact MRBC to donate or to receive more information.
Marsh Regional Blood Center is accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and is a federally inspected, independent regional blood center serving 17 medical facilities in Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia. Collection centers are located in Kingsport at 102 East Ravine Road, Suite 200, and in Bristol at 1 Medical Park Boulevard on the main floor of Bristol Regional Medical Center.
For more information about Marsh Regional Blood Center or your eligibility to donate blood, please call (423) 224-5888.