Regional blood supply worse than critical
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug. 20, 2006 -- Supplies of all blood types, except A negative, are in such low supply that Stewart Regional Blood Center is urging anyone who can to donate blood before the Labor Day weekend

The Tyler blood bank can take blood donations at its home base or during at special blood drive being co-sponsored Friday by Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce.

Stewart Blood Center officials consider having less than one day's blood supply of any type to put it in the critical need category. SRBC's supplies as of Friday were even worse, with "less than half a day's supply of the majority of the communities' blood supply."

Even supplies of type A negative blood are low, with only enough in storage to supply one to two days' worth blood needs in SRBC's service area.

SRBC has a number of other upcoming blood drives set up throughout the East Texas area, including blood drives set up throughout the East Texas area, including Mount Vernon, Paris, Athens,  Tyler, Palestine, Henderson, Longview, Omaha, Gilmer, Hallsville and Zavalla.

Sulphur Springs and Hopkins County residents can donate blood in the SRBC mobile from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 25, at the Chamber-sponsored drive at 1750 South Broadway St.  (Wal-Mart Supercenter)

If unable to make that drive, local residents may donate in Mount Vernon from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, in the Family Life Center at First United Methodist Church, which is located at 522 State Highway 37 south; or in Paris from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, at Lamar Avenue Church of Christ's Outreach Building, located at 3535 Lamar Ave.

As an added incentive, anyone who donates at one of SRBC's six locations or mobile blood drives before Labor Day will automatically be entered in a drawing to win two Southwest Airline tickets to anywhere in the Contenintal United States.  Those donating on a Tuesday or Thursday before Labor Day at one of SRBC's six locations will also receive "a pint for a pint" -- one pint of either Haagen-Dazs Light vanilla, chocolate or coffee flavored ice cream donated by Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream for each person who donates a pint of blood.

SRBC also has what it calls "Club Red," a donor loyalty program which allows donors who commit to giving blood three times a year to earn special rewards such as T-shirts, polo shirts, captain's chairs and duffel bags. More information about Club Red can be found online at www.clubredstore.org.

To schedule a blood donation, potential donors can log onto www.beagift.org, can call 1-877-232-4438, or visit or call one of the six donor centers listed below: 

-- Mount Pleasant -- 1809 South Johnson St., Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

-- Paris -- 3715 Lamar Ave. 903-785-9399, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., except Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

-- Tyler -- 815 South Baxter Ave. at the second stop sign from Tyler Junior College, Monday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Tuesday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 9 a.m. t0 1 p.m. 903-535-5400 or 1-800-252-5584.

-- Longview -- 504 East Loop 281, 903-757-2474, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

-- Lufkin -- 2110 South John Redditt, Suite C, 903-639-1534, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the second and fourth Saturdays of each month from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

-- Marshall -- 811 South Washington Ave. in Marshall Regional Medical Center, 903-935-6571, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information about SRBC, upcoming blood drives, special blood donor incentives, blood donor requirements or blood donation in general, go online to www.stewartblood.org or call 903-535-5400.

Anyone interested in setting up a blood drive or having someone speak at their business about blood drives, donations or the center should call Ken Mitchell at 903-535-5457.

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