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Roll up your sleeves and donate

Maybe you just never thought about giving blood. Or maybe you wanted to donate but were too busy. Whatever the reason, now is the time to do it. Log on to the American Red Cross’ blood donation site at www.givelife.org to find a blood drive near you. Or just head to your local blood bank—most don’t require an appointment. Check out www.aabb.org to find a blood bank near you. Need more inspiration? Check out these facts about donating blood, courtesy of America’s Blood Centers:

  • Thirty-eight percent of Americans are eligible to donate blood, but fewer than 10 percent actually do every year. To give, you must be at least 16 or 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in overall good health. Certain conditions, such as pregnancy, make you ineligible.
  • You can’t get AIDS or any other infectious disease by donating blood.
  • Blood can be separated into different parts: red blood cells, plasma, platelets and cryoprecipitate. These life-saving components can help everyone from burn victims to cancer patients.