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Communities across America celebrate Independence Day each year with fireworks, barbecues and get-togethers. And while such activities are summer favorites, citizens can add another tradition to the mix by coming to donate blood through the American Red Cross with family and friends.

"Your blood donation is a sign of independence in its purest sense," said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. "When you think of it, you're giving of yourself so someone sick or injured may have the ability to be with people they love."

A blood donation around Independence Day can also help strengthen America's blood supply. Blood donations typically slump during the summer when many donors are out of their day-to-day routines, and when student donors are on break. High school and college-age donors give up to 20 percent of the blood collected through the Red Cross.

Every two seconds, someone in America needs blood. Sick and injured adults and children need red cells, platelets or plasma for scheduled and emergency surgeries, for the treatment of diseases like cancer, and for care related to accidents and trauma. Someone injured in a serious accident may need up to 100 pints of life-sustaining blood. People under emergency care typically receive O negative blood since it can be transfused to anyone, regardless of their blood type.

"Supplies of type O negative need to be available at a moment's notice to help save lives," said Whitman.
"What greater sense of American spirit can you have than knowing that blood will be there if and when you need it?"
Come to donate July 1 - July 15 for a chance to win one of five $3,000 American Express gift cards.

Fort Wayne Donor Center located at 1212 E. California Road in Fort Wayne, (across from the Memorial Coliseum) or Lutheran Hospital Donor Center located at 7900 W. Jefferson Blvd., Suite 107 in Fort Wayne (in the South Lobby of Lutheran Hospital).


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