Healthy adults will be rolling up their sleeves Saturday to mark World Blood Donor Day in Macon, Milledgeville and Centerville.
The 10th annual observance initiated by the World Health Organization brings attention to the summer demand for donors and thanks those who regularly give.
When the weather turns nice, we struggle more than when the weather is poor, said Brian Fern, an account manager for the Central Georgia chapter of the American Red Cross, which covers 35 counties.
Fern has already noticed a marked decrease in the number of potential donors showing up at scheduled drives.
The regions most recent critical shortage in the blood supply came last July, but a crisis could be averted if more people donate this month.
All this week, donors have been given colorful, designer bandages celebrating The Art of Giving theme for the World Donor observance.
Supermodel Niki Taylor, who needed about 100 units of blood to survive a nearly fatal car accident in Atlanta in 2001, has become a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross.
I died on the (operating) table twice, and I had a one-in-10 chance of survival, Taylor stated in a news release promoting World Donor Day.
If it wasnt for the transfusions, she would not have been able to endure the life-saving surgeries needed for her recovery, Taylor said.
Saturday, Macons Blood Donation Center will be open at 3755 Bloomfield Road from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and drives are scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. at the Galleria Mall on Watson Boulevard in Centerville and Milledgeville Mall on North Columbia Street.
To further boost interest in summer donations, Atlanta Braves tickets will be given to donors from noon to 5 p.m. June 25 at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and from 3-7 p.m. June 26 at the Wal-Mart in Forsyth.
Macon will not be hosting the popular Blood and Barbecue drive this year that is typically held at the Macon-Bibb Fire Department headquarters on First Street around Independence Day, but the American Red Cross will be giving away T-shirts at drives during the first week of July, Fern said.
Anyone in good health and at least 17 years old might be able to donate every 56 days depending on their iron level.
Appointments can be made and other donor sites in Middle Georgia can be found at www.redcrossblood.org.
To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.