On Friday, Aug. 2, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Marsh Regional Blood Center is hosting end-of-summer cookouts at its blood centers in Kingsport and Bristol. While donors give blood and enjoy their hamburgers and hot dogs, they will also have the opportunity to bring back-to-school items such as crayons, pencils and backpacks for area schools.
"We have long been committed to saving the lives of our friends, families and neighbors by supplying local hospitals with blood and platelets," said Don Campbell, Marsh Regional's director. "And we're excited to help the communities we are honored to serve even more by giving local kids the equipment they need as they return to school."
Campbell said the timing of the cookouts and blood drives is particularly important, as blood donations are typically lower during the summer, when many regular donors take vacations. Additionally, the risk for injuries rises as more families squeeze in end-of-summer activities.
"For our donors who give throughout the year, these cookouts are a way to say thank you," Campbell said. "We're also saying welcome back to donors who have been gone this summer. For more than 60 years, Marsh Regional has been pleased to assist the region with its blood supply needs, and we've accomplished that with the fantastic support we have received from our donors."
The events will be held at 102 E. Ravine Road in Kingsport and at 1996 W. State St. in Bristol. Donors who give at the cookouts will also receive a free T-shirt and will be entered to win a $100 gift card.
Individuals who are unable to donate blood are still welcome to visit the centers and donate school supplies. Marsh Regional staff will then distribute the collections to area elementary schools.
To donate blood, individuals must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. People with a cold, sore throat, fever, flu or fever blisters or who are taking antibiotics may not donate. Donors should eat a balanced meal before giving blood.
As many as three lives may be saved each time a person donates blood – and an individual's blood donation to Marsh Regional stays local to help people in this region.
For more information about donating at a blood center, finding a blood drive or scheduling a drive at a local business, church, school or community organization, please call 423-224-5888 or visit www.marshblood.com.
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