January and February are tough months for blood collection, according to the American Red Cross. Blood drives may be canceled due to inclement weather; donors cancel blood donation appointments when the roads are bad and many people have cold and flu symptoms, making them ineligible to give blood.
Blood donation is so important because each donation has the potential to save up to three lives. So, this new year, Red Cross officials are asking area residents to consider a New Year's resolution that makes a lifesaving difference -- give blood.
During the month of January, all presenting donors will be entered to win a $1,000 gift card to a home improvement store. In addition, from now until Jan. 13, all presenting donors will also be entered to win a tablet computer valued at $500.
Upcoming blood drives in Bedford County:
* Jan. 8, 2-6 p.m., First Baptist Church, 304 East Depot St.
* Jan. 11, 2-6 p.m., Walmart, 1880 North Main St., Shelbyville
To make an appointment to donate at some other time, at a Red Cross facility, go to www.redcrossblood.org or call (800) RED-CROSS.
All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors 18 and younger.*