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Give the gift of life, now

The issue: The American Red Cross needs blood.

Our position: Give the gift of life.

The blood supply for Alabama has gotten low, and the American Cross needs donors.

The summer is tough on blood supplies for several reasons involving donors and recipients, experts tell us.

First, in Alabama and the Gulf Coast Region, which affects us, about 21 percent of the blood supply comes from high school and college students. When the students are out of school, they don’t donate as heavily as when they are together.

Secondly, summer is vacation time. Regular donors might be out of town when their regularly scheduled blood drives come around at their churches, offices or in their communities.

And there are the deferrals, which seem to rise during the summer months because of nutrition issues.

More blood is required now. As more folks travel for vacations, the incidences of accidents increase. People enjoy more outside activities, raising the risk of accidents resulting in injuries that may require blood transfusions.

Rest assured, 99.9 percent of all blood donated here stays in the region.

If you can give, check out this list of upcoming drives and roll up your sleeve. If you’re uncertain you can give, go to the Red Cross.