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TAKE A BREAK, HELP SAVE A LIFE

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Although your sights may be set on warmer locales for spring break, you can bring sunshine and warmth to your life by simply volunteering to give blood or platelets through the American Red Cross.

"We know very few things compare to a burst of tropical sunshine after winter," said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. "But we hear time and again about the good feeling people get when they realize they can help save a life by donating blood."

Every day of every week, people need blood for emergency and ongoing medical care. It's a need, Red Cross officials say, that doesn't take a break, despite the season. About 44,000 blood donations are needed daily by hospital patients undergoing treatment for serious diseases like cancer and sickle cell, for surgery, and for trauma and burn care.

The challenge, Red Cross officials say, is that while blood needs are constant, blood donors sometimes take a break. Blood donors who would otherwise give may wait until later to make an appointment. Popular donation sites like schools, colleges and universities also typically avoid scheduling blood drives during spring break times, which can further erode blood donation opportunities. The Red Cross depends on student-age blood donors for about 20 percent of the community blood supply.

"Collecting blood from volunteer donors isn't something that can be put on hold or caught up on later since the need for blood is constant," said Sharyn Whitman. "We'd like everyone who can to consider donating blood now or in the next few weeks to celebrate spring. It could be a great way to renew yourself, and to bring the gift of life to someone in need."

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

Wednesday, April 18 and Thursday, April 19
from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Indiana University Purdue University Fort Wayne by the Science Building
located at 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd. in Fort Wayne.
Come to donate and receive a t-shirt.
Please go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code "ipfw" to schedule you blood donation appointment.
This blood drive is co-sponsored by Student Activities Board and CSSAC.
Wednesday, April 18
from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at Tomkinson BMW
located at 929 Avenue of Autos in Fort Wayne.
Please call 436-9000 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
Friday, April 20
from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in the Meeting Room
located at 4700 Vance Ave in Fort Wayne.
Please call the Church Office at 483-8816 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
Tuesday, April 24
from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. at Parkview Hospital in the Pach Room
located at 2200 Randallia Dr. in Fort Wayne.
Please call 373-6099 to schedule your blood donation appointment.
Sunday, April 29
from 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Pathway Community Church
located at 11910 Shearwater Run in Fort Wayne.
Please call 469-4444 to schedule your blood donation appointment.

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