Give blood this summer

Published 8:13 pm Wednesday, June 12, 2013

As summer approaches, most of us turn our thoughts to things like where to go on vacation, how many trips to the beach are too many and what’s the best way to enjoy fun in the sun without getting that pesky sunburn.

Personally, I have been scouting for the best beaches that allow dogs, since that’s the best way for my dog to exert his energy without overheating. I have never seen an animal take to water the way Miyagi has, and luckily that means he’s game for as many beach trips as I am.

Yes, summer is the season of leisure, and with schools reaching their last days this week, now is the perfect time to plan out some of that relaxation.


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Unless you are Kristen Hatfield, who is most likely thinking about blood, or a lack of it.

Hatfield, a representative of the American Red Cross, recently spoke to the Suffolk News-Herald about a season that normally sees fewer donations.

“Nineteen percent of our donor base is made up of high school and college students. They’re great donors, but when they take the summer off we definitely feel their loss,” Hatfield explained.

According to her, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds.

Many of us think of blood only in the context that if we lose too much, we could die. So it’s not unreasonable for some people to think that voluntarily giving up some of that precious substance is a little bit crazy. Unless you happen to be one of the three people whose lives might have been saved by just one generous donation of blood. Then blood donors become heroes.

Some people are scared of needles. Some people say they don’t have time. Some people just aren’t aware of the growing need for donations.

Whatever your reason for not giving blood, now is the time to make that heroic decision to donate. People who are at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and are healthy are eligible. All it takes is a little pinprick, a little bit of time and the willingness to save a life.

And if you have been touched by the donation of others, now’s the time to share your story. In an effort to increase awareness and donations, the Red Cross is sponsoring its “Summer of Stories” campaign, which will gather and share stories of how donors can affect the lives of a patient in need.

To share your story or make an appointment to give blood, visit