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Be a hero: Donate blood to Red Cross

The American Red Cross has long been known for being there when disaster strikes.

Whether it is disaster relief in the wake of a flood or hurricane that affects thousands of people or lending a helping hand to a family that lost its home to the ravages of fire, the Red Cross is there often when no one else is.

Now, the Red Cross has a new slogan: &uot;Together, we can save a life.&uot; As we head into another long hot Alabama summer, that slogan seems especially appropriate.

One of the many services provided by the Red Cross is the collection and distribution of our nation’s blood supplies. The Red Cross Bloodmobile is a familiar sight across many Alabama towns and cities.

Now the Red Cross sends word that a shortage threatens the blood supplies in the Alabama and Central Gulf Coast region. As many people who regularly donate blood go on vacation or otherwise alter their regular schedules for the summer, donations typically fall off.

This is not uncommon. Donations usually fall off during this time of year. But the need for blood does not.

The tragedy, of course, is that only a fraction of the people who are able to donate blood do so.

The situation is so critical, according to Red Cross officials, that some hospitals in the region have had to postpone surgeries because there is not enough blood.

Local residents will have two chances to do their part. The Red Cross will be conducting blood drives in the area on June 24 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Department of Human Resources, on Samuel Mosley Avenue, and again from 2 to 7 p.m. at the Selma Mall.

Let’s all do our part.

Be a hero. Donate blood.