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Local blood bank in desperate need for summer donors

Just one blood donation can help save three lives, organizers said.

ATLANTA — For many blood banks in Atlanta, summer is the time of the year when donations start to decrease and they struggle to keep their shelves stocked. 

On Saturday, LifeSouth Community Blood Bank will host its annual Badges for Life Blood Drive to honor both first responders and sickle cell anemia patients, and they are asking the public to come out and make a donation.

“During this summer is a really difficult time for blood collections and there's a lot of accidents happening, a lot of first responders going out to the scene. And accidents do happen every day, so we want to make sure that there's blood on our shelves so that we can account for those accidents,” LifeSouth's District Community Development Coordinator, Kyla Harris said. 

Unfortunately, summer is also the time when there is an increase in trauma injuries - especially with first responders, medical experts say. This drive is to also ensure that there is enough blood to help with those injuries which is why the event will also be dedicating the drive to two fallen Clayton County police officers who lost their lives in 2021. 

One of them is Officer Henry Laxson who was fatally shot last December while responding to a domestic violence shooting in Rex, Georgia. 

Officer Armondo Mendoza will also be honored. He was with the Clayton County Police Department for more than a year before he passed away after succumbing to injuries from a car accident in April of last year. 

Harris said that just one donation can help save three lives and on Saturday, LifeSouth hopes to reach a goal of 35 donors - to save at least 105 lives. 

The event is also raising awareness for sickle cell anemia patients. The drive is sponsored by Anika Smith the founder of the Adam A. Smith Legacy Sickle Cell Foundation and Harris says this is a chance for donors to save both sides. 

RELATED: Sickle Cell patients work to educate others about the disease

"You just never know when someone will need the blood, especially if it will affect you in your life. So we just want to encourage everyone to come out, donate and just feel good about what you're doing," she said.

The donations will go to various local hospitals including Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Atlanta Medical Center and Emory Hospital. 

LifeSouth’s Badges for Life Blood Drive will take place at Lovejoy Regional Park from 10 a.m. to 4 pm. Saturday. 

While supplies last, donors will be able to receive a free $10 e-gift card, a water bottle or a Badges for Blood t-shirt.


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