GIVING THE gift of life. That opportunity resurfaces on Monday, Jan. 21 as WesBanco Arena plays host to the 27th annual Ohio Valley Media Day Blood Drive.
The Wheeling mega-event is once again under the auspices of the American Red Cross.
It is the largest single-day blood drive in the Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region, which encompasses six states, including Ohio and West Virginia.
The annual blood donor day at WesBanco will provide hundreds of other in-need individuals with the hope of a normal and extended life. In the first 26 years of the event, nearly 25,000 units of blood have been collected. That is a staggering amount which has obviously saved countless lives.
While that total is truly remarkable, it pales in comparison to the more than 38,000 donors needed daily to meet the blood demand in the U.S. That figure underscores the need for blood drives as well as for the public to support them.
This year's goal at WesBanco is to bring in 500 people in hopes of producing 400 successful blood donations. We see that as an attainable number, weather permitting.
We challenge and encourage all those in the Ohio Valley medically able to donate blood, do so. Individuals must be at least 17 years of age, weighing at last 110 pounds. A 16-year-old can donate with signed permission from their parent. Prospective donors should bring a blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification.
The blood drive runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If unable to give blood, donate your time and expertise at the event itself. Volunteers are always needed.
Blood is a precious commodity, one that can prove a life-saver. On Jan. 21, we all can make a difference to individuals in dire straits.