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Consider this a challenge. You have been called out.

By By Brian Giles Publisher
Have you ever thought about what you could do to make a difference in your community? What about your state or even your country? Better yet, what can you do to make a difference in someone's life? There is one thing that you can do that will make your heart smile. Make a donation. I am not referring to cash, because it will not cost you one dime. I am talking about giving the gift of life, blood. It will only cost you about a pint and maybe 30 minutes of your time to make a difference.
The Atmore Rotary Club has challenged the community to come out and show its support at the Atmore City Hall on Thursday. Volunteers will be on hand from 1-6 p.m. accepting blood donations. Each person that donates will get a free t-shirt.
Last year's Rotary Club blood drive took in about 60 pints of blood and the club wants to beat that this year. That is why the Rotary Club is challenging the Lions Club and other civic organizations as well as the community to come out and donate.
There are a few guidelines to giving blood for transfusion. First, you must be healthy, be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and not have donated blood in the last 56 days. "Healthy" means that you feel well and can perform normal activities. If you have a question on whether you should give, come out Thursday and one of the volunteers will be glad to answer any questions that you may have.
Here is a list compiled by the American Red Cross of the top 10 reasons people don't give blood. In this list is also an explanation of why you should.
1. "No one ever asked me."
Consider yourself asked! A person's responsibility to give blood is a fact of life. There is simply no other way to supply the blood needs of hospital patients. Blood cannot be manufactured.
2. "I'm scared of that needle."
Nearly everyone feels that way, but after they see how quick and painless the procedure is, the fears vanish.
3. "I don't have any blood to spare."
The average adult has 9-12 pints of blood in his/her body. Doctors say that healthy persons may give regularly because the body quickly replaces the blood you donate.
4. "They wouldn't want my blood because of the illnesses I've had."
Many illnesses do not affect the quality of your blood for donation. The staff on duty will review your medical history before you make your donation.
5. "I'm too old to give."
There is no upper age limit to donate with the American Red Cross.
6. "I already gave this year."
You can give blood every 56 days. Many donors give 5 times a year!
7. "They'll take too much, and I'll feel weak."
Less than a pint is all that's taken. Your body manufactures new blood constantly and what you give will be replaced within a few hours.
8. "I have a rare blood type, and I wait to give only when there is a special need."
Blood that is special or rare is almost always in short supply. There is a constant need for these blood types in order to avoid having to recruit specific blood types in a crisis.
9. "My blood isn't rich enough."
A sample of blood is taken before you donate to make sure that your iron count is adequate to safely donate.
10. "I didn't realize my blood was needed."
It certainly is! On average, hundreds of units of blood need to be collected daily in order to meet the needs of hospital patients across the state. Currently, all blood types are needed.
We all expect blood to be available for us when we need it, but only a fraction of those who are eligible to donate blood actually do so. Sooner or later there will be a time in almost everyone's life when they may need blood. All to often, this need is due to an emergency. We all want the blood to be there when we need it, so let's all do our part to make sure we have a good supply.
Brian Giles is publisher of the Atmore Advance and may be reached at 368-2123 or email at brian.giles@atmoreadvance.com