Thursday, August 2, 2012
Friday, August 3, 2012
12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Bel Air Mall- Target Wing
Foley Civic Center
407 East Laurel Avenue
Daphne Civic Center
2603 Hwy. 98
Give the gift of life and have a blast at south Alabama’s biggest blood drive
For the 23rd year in a row, Bebo’s Express, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, will be heating up the summer blood inventory with their annual Bebo’s Blood Drive, scheduled for Thursday, August 2, 2012 and Friday, August 3, 2012 from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Bel Air Mall- Target Wing in Mobile, the Foley Civic Center in Foley and the Daphne Civic Center in Daphne. Other sponsors include, Blue Bell Ice, WKRG, 95KSJ and Coca-Cola.
Each year, numerous sponsors come together to make the Bebo’s drive the biggest blood drive in the southern half of Alabama. Since the drive’s first year in 1989, over 14,000 units of blood have been collected, providing an annual injection of blood into the American Red Cross inventory during a critical time for the region’s blood supply.
The Bebo’s drive comes at a particularly critical period for the blood supply, as the traditional summer shortages put a dangerous strain on the blood supply. The drive offers donors a large-scale drive through which to respond to the call for increased donations, and year after year the Bebo’s drive has helped boost the summer inventory thanks to local donors.
The reasons for the summer blood shortage are multi-faceted. The summer months have historically been a time when collections fall while demand increases, thus making drives held in mid-summer of the utmost importance to saving lives.
Because students, who make up 21 percent of the blood supply, are out of classes in the summer, collections decrease. This decrease is also due to the fact that more regular donors are on vacation, thus further causing a decline in the amount of blood that is taken in. This decrease in supply is met with an increase in demand. Summer travel holidays result in more traffic accidents requiring blood, and more outdoor recreation and labor results in more serious injuries. Hurricanes further compound the problem by interrupting collections while at the same time causing injuries which require blood.
In other words, blood is critically needed. Donors who have either of the Type O blood types are especially in demand, as more than 50 percent of blood ordered through hospitals is Type O. A single traffic accident victim can require between four and 100 units of blood. A bypass patient can need four to six units of blood to survive. An infant born with Rh factor complications must have at least a unit of blood to survive. And patients like these need blood every two seconds in the United States, making it critical that donors give blood for the good of humanity.
In order to give blood, you must weigh at least 110 pounds, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent) and you must be in general good health. If you are sick and cannot donate, please recruit a friend or family member to give in your place. All donors must have a photo ID or American Red Cross donor card.
If you plan on giving blood, make sure to prepare yourself for the process. Double your fluid intake in the 48 hours leading up to the drive. Make sure to eat a nutritious meal the night before, as well as the day of, the blood drive. Eat iron-rich foods such as lean beef, broccoli, eggs, greens, shrimp or dried beans. Also consume foods rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, cabbage, tomatoes and sweet potatoes. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep before the drive.
A variety of door prizes will be awarded during the drive to presenting volunteer donors. Presenting volunteer donors will receive a T-shirt. All presenting volunteer donors will also receive: a Chick-Fil-A coupon, a coupon for Bebo’s Express, a free pint of Blue Bell ice cream and a 20 ounce Coca-Cola product. All presenting volunteer donors in the months of July, August and September are entered into the July “Super Summer Save” promotion for a chance at $3,000 in American Express gift cards.
For more information, visit www.redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. To make an appointment, please visit redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code “bebosmobile” for the Mobile site, “bebosdaphne” for the Daphne site or “bebosfoley” for the Foley site.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.