By Kim Walter -- firstname.lastname@example.org
The American Red Cross sent out a press release Monday urging individuals to donate blood this weekend, and in return be entered in a drawing and have the chance to accumulate rewards points.
May is the month that sparks the "summer decline" in blood donations, the release states. With the last weekend of the month fast approaching, Red Cross officials hope the result will "help create a foundation for an adequate supply of blood for the summer months."
According to the release, from May 25 to 28, all presenting red cell and platelet donors will be entered in a drawing for a $500 gas card. Two winners will be selected, and will be given a choice of several locations at which they can use the card.
Through to the end of the month, donors will also be able to accumulate bonus Red Cross Donor Rewards points for blood, double red cell or platelet donations. The rewards club allows donors to select the reward of their choice, including gift certificates to stores, airlines, hotels, theaters and restaurants.
The release also asked especially for donations of O-positive, O-negative, A-negative and B-negative blood types.
Area residents can go to locations in Winchester on Friday at Emmanuel Baptist Church from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Westminster Canterbury from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and the American Red Cross from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Donors can also go to Dynamic Life Praise and Worship Center in Front Royal from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The complete donation process takes about an hour and 15 minutes, with the actual donation lasting 10 to 12 minutes, according to the release.