East Texas blood centers need donations

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – A New Year's resolution -- save a life just by rolling-up your sleeve.

Now is a critical time to donate blood, because giving is traditionally slow during the holidays.

Each year 14,000 units of blood are distributed to hospitals by The Blood Center East Texas.

For Jeremy Pittman going into the blood center is a habit.

"I started donating when I was 17 years old when the Aggie Bonfire fell," said Pittman. "They had a big deal on KTRE about the local community donating, so of course, my family being big Aggies, we all went and donated and ever since then, I try to do it monthly."

Pittman's routine is saving lives.

"I don't ever put any thought into it," said Pittman. "It's just something I do."

The Blood Center East Texas wishes more people would have the same motivation -- especially this time of year.

"The Holiday time is always really difficult for the blood center," said Lynne Booker, an Account Representative with The Blood Center East Texas. "If you think about what you're doing over the holidays, you're busy, parties, shopping, that sort of thing and so people just don't give. Our faithful donors even are busy and they just don't give as regularly, but unfortunately the need goes on and sometimes there's even a greater need."

Booker said every three seconds someone in East Texas is receiving a blood transfusion, so all you have to do is pull up your sleeve to help save a life.

"Our shelves are good, we're going to meet the need, but we're definitely playing catch-up and we want to get all blood types totally back up to full capacity," said Booker.

If you commit to donating once a quarter, the center will call and remind you to come in.

Since the center supplies blood for hospitals in six counties, more donors like Pittman are needed.

"What a cool resolution to also resolve in the new year to do something to help somebody else, talk about a life-saving thing," Booker said.

Pittman said, it's become more than a routine, it's a sense of responsibility.

You can give blood as often as every 56 days.

Blood donation centers are located in Lufkin at 202 South Franklin Street and in Nacogdoches at 3520 North University Drive.

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