January is National Blood Donor Month and the American Red Cross has a number of opportunities for area residents to make a difference and donate locally during the month.
The Red Cross lists January as its most difficult month to recruit blood donors, due to holidays, weather conditions and frequent illnesses.
Ginny Anderson, a donor recruitment representative for the Red Cross in Winston-Salem, said the donations go to three main recipient categories: surgery or emergency situation patients, cancer patients, people with sickle-cell or other blood diseases and burn victims.
“Blood donations can go to anyone from very pre-mature babies in neonatal intensive care unit, all the way up to the elderly,” Anderson said.
The Red Cross recommends eating iron-rich foods and drinking plenty of water to hydrate prior to your donation appointment.
“I usually like to tell people to carve out about an hour for the total process,” Anderson said, although the actual blood donation only takes eight to 10 minutes, donors need complete a short questionnaire with a phlebotomist and may experience a short wait time.
More information on the blood donation process can be found at www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood.
Scheduled blood drives within a 25-mile radius of Elkin include:
• Jan. 6 from 1:30 to 6 p.m., Surry Red Cross Building, 844 Westlake Drive, Mount Airy.
• Jan. 10 from 3 to 7:30 p.m., Jared Edwards Bloodstock at Antioch Baptist Church, 137 Antioch Ave., Mount Airy.
• Jan. 12 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Calvary Baptist Church, 314 S. Franklin Road, Mount Airy.
• Jan. 13 from 2 to 6:30 p.m., Rachel Franklin Bloodstock at North Wilkesboro Presbyterian Church, 804 East St., North Wilkesboro.
• Jan. 13 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Subway I-77, 4560 W. Pine St., Mount Airy.
• Jan. 13 from 2:30 to 7 p.m., Pilgrim Baptist Church, 493 Pilgrim Baptist Church Road, Wilkesboro.
• Jan. 14 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Alleghany Memorial Hospital, 233 Doctor St., Sparta.
• Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., AES, 101 Technology Lane, Mount Airy.
• Jan. 20 from 1:30 to 6 p.m., Elkin Rescue Squad, 946 N. Bridge St., Elkin.
• Jan. 23 from 2 to 6:30 p.m., East Wilkes Middle School, 2201 Macedonia Church Road, Ronda.
• Jan. 27 from noon to 4:30 p.m., First United Methodist Church, 210 Maion St., Pilot Mountain.
• Jan. 27 from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sparta Lions Club at Sparta United Methodist Church, 190 N. Main St., Sparta.
• Jan. 28 from 1 to 6 p.m., Forbush Elementary School, 1400 Bloomtown Road, East Bend.
• Jan. 30 from 3 to 7:30 p.m., Temple Hill United Methodist Church, 1192 Somers Road, Ronda.
• Jan. 30 from 1 to 5:30 p.m., White Plains Elementary School, 710 Caudle Road, Mount Airy.
• Jan. 31 from ProHealth Fitness Center, 280 N. Pointe Blvd., Mount Airy.
• Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 593 Pleasant Hill Drive, Elkin.
Christina Day, staff reporter with the Jefferson Post, contributed to this article.