Are you done exchanging gifts this holiday season? You can still give one more that could literally mean life or death for someone? It might even be someone you know. When it comes to giving gifts, this might be the most important one you give to anyone all year.

The American Red Cross is holding a couple of blood drives in our area and they need your help. Today is the annual blood drive in memory of New York State Police Trooper Christopher Skinner. Trooper Skinner lost his life in the line of duty a couple years ago. The New York State Police help to organize this blood drive every year in Chris's memory. You can donate today from noon until 6 pm. at two different locations; The Five Mile Point Fire Station, and the Binghamton State Office Building on the 18th floor.

If you can't make it today, the Red Cross is also holding their annual New Year's Resolution Blood Drive at the Oakdale Mall for five straight days starting this Friday. You can find them in the mall at the entrance next to Ruby Tuesdays.

Giving blood is simple. It takes less than an hour of your time. You read the information to determine whether or not you are eligible to give, and then the drawing of the blood itself only takes minutes. After you are done, you go to what's called the Cantina, where you have juice, water, and cookies, (or other goodies), to help your body replenish. It's not very painful at all. You feel a pinch on your arm as they insert the needle, and then you don't feel the needle after that.

When it comes to the need for blood, one in three people will need blood at some point in their lifetime. Premature babies, cancer patients, accident victims, and people who are undergoing surgery, need blood. Each donation can save up to three lives. If it was you or someone you know, you would hope there would be sufficient blood supplies to help. So please, find it in your heart to give the gift of life. It only cost an hour of your time, and it could literally mean more holidays, birthdays, and years of life, for people in need. To set an appointment, or for more information, call 1 800 Red Cross, or visit their website.

Used with permission from the American Red Cross


Used with permission from the American Red Cross