Donating blood can help others

It’s January, typically a slow time for most people.

While many are doing well just to get to work and back home daily, it’s safe to say that extracurricular activities are at a slowed pace.

Despite that mentality this time of the year, we’re asking Tri-State Area residents to venture out later this month to take part in the 27th-annual Ohio Valley Media Blood Drive.

You can donate blood from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Jan. 21 at WesBanco Arena in Wheeling.

For those in the immediate area who don’t want to travel to Wheeling, a blood drive is planned from noon to 6 p.m. on Jan. 22 at Eastern Gateway Community College in Steubenville. It doesn’t really matter where you decide to donate blood, just that you do so because many local hospitals are low on blood supply, according to officials with the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, which serves parts of Ohio, West Virginia and four other states.

“We need people to come out and donate blood in January, because it is a time blood donations tend to decline. It’s cold outside and people are facing illnesses, so often people cannot donate blood,” said Cheryl Gergely, communications manager of the Greater Alleghenies region.

The Red Cross is especially in need of O negative blood, the universal blood type that can be transfused to patients of all blood types, as well as B negative and A negative. And the goal this year is to bring in at least 500 people to produce 400 successful blood donations.

Please remember that blood is needed by cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients, trauma victims and more.

The donations will benefit area hospitals, including Trinity Medical Centers East and West, Ohio Valley Medical Center, East Ohio Regional Hospital, Barnesville Hospital and Wetzel County Hospital.

Individuals 17 years old or older weighing 110 pounds or more may be eligible to donate blood. And a 16-year-old can donate with signed permission from a parent. Individuals should bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification when coming to donate.

It’s important to note that blood donors must be healthy, without cold or flu symptoms and must not be taking antibiotics at the time of donation.

The event at WesBanco Arena will feature free day care services and refreshments such as pizza, salad, fruit, doughnuts and soft drinks.

Other area sites where blood drives will be held in the upcoming weeks include the Trinity East School of Nursing in Steubenville, Thursday; Indian Creek High School, Jan. 25; Franciscan University of Steubenville’s J.C. Williams Center, Jan. 29; New Manchester Elementary School, Jan. 31; American Red Cross Jefferson County Chapter in Wintersville, Feb. 4; and Franciscan University of Steubenville’s St. Joseph Center, Feb. 5.

Please donate blood. It’s an unselfish and very important act of kindness.