If it takes a gift card to get you to a bloodmobile, so be it

t is unfortunate that the American Red Cross must offer a monetary reward to get people to donate blood amid a shortage.

But that’s just what it is doing thanks to Amazon.

Thanks to a donation to the Red Cross, the online retail giant — and we mean giant — will give a $5 Amazon.com gift card to each person who donates blood or platelets through Aug. 29.

As of this past Saturday, the Red Cross had less than a three-day supply of most blood types available and less than a two-day supply of type O blood.

All eligible donors are urged to give now.

We’re sure the agency is especially in need of Type O blood.

There are just six units of type O blood available for every 100,000 people, which is two times less than the amount needed every day.

The Red Cross notes that a blood donation takes about an hour from start to finish, but the actual donation itself only takes about 8-10 minutes.

When emergency arises, it is the blood already on the shelves that helps to save lives.

Only through the generosity of blood donors can the Red Cross provide hospitals with lifesaving blood to meet the ongoing and often, unpredictable needs of patients.

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.

Here is a list of upcoming blood drives

5 Aug. 15, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Phelps Chapel, 68 Phelps Chapel Road, Jersey Shore.

5 Aug. 15, 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Williamsport Regional Medical Center, 700 High St., Williamsport.

The need for blood is constant, the Red Cross says.

In the United States every two seconds blood is needed to help accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

Need we say more?

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