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Blood center to hold pair of collection drives this weekend

By Catherine Hawley, Reporter, news@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 06 2013 04:14:10 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 06 2013 06:07:37 PM CST

You may not realize it, but you have the ability to save someone's life.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -

It's the time of the year when people usually are the most giving, but at the Miller-Keystone Blood Center in Bethlehem, blood donors stop walking through the door around the holidays.

"Over the holidays, we don't get as many donors because people are off of work. They're on vacation, or they're busy doing other things," explained Angelina Gneiting, assistant director of donor collections for Miller-Keystone.

You can help change that and save someone's life. Every visit, you can provide the center with whole red blood, plasma or platelets.

"We need blood every day," added Gneiting. "We have to meet certain demands with hospitals and patients."

Only about two days worth of blood products are kept on the center's shelves. In fact, Miller-Keystone needs about 450 people to donate every day just to keep the local hospital supply filled.

Besides the drop around Thanksgiving and Christmas, the center struggles with recruiting younger people to give blood. Many of its dedicated donors are older and are starting to need the donations for themselves.

"I've recently found out how important it is for us to donate blood," shared Caitlin McCall.

The 27-year-old donated blood twice this year. She said the 10-minute process is easy.

"The first time I gave blood, I was very nervous," McCall said.  "But it was a pleasant experience. It was very smooth. It didn't even really hurt and it didn't take long."

69 News is teaming up with Miller-Keystone this Saturday, Nov. 9 for a blood drive at the Bethlehem location and at the Bern Township center in Berks County. If you want to come out, we will be there between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.