For individuals who have found themselves in the giving season a bit early this year, there is a gift that can go the extra mile via saving a life. On Friday, the Texoma Regional Blood Center announced that is in critical need of O- blood and is currently experiencing a shortage among all other types of blood, as well.


Donor Recruiter Melanie Robertson said the center often struggles with both supply and demand this time of year.


“The need for blood typically goes up in the winter as the colder weather moves in and people start to get sick more often, and need more surgeries,” Robertson said. “On the donor end, it’s just so busy for everyone with the holidays, family time and travel. Blood donation, unfortunately, just gets pushed back on the list of things to do.”


To help replenish and stabilize it’s supply of available blood within the next week, the center is enticing donors with a chance to save some money on their holiday shopping. Donors who give blood through Nov. 29 will be entered for the chance to win one of three $50 gift cards to Target. Winners will be announced Nov. 30.


The blood center’s mobile donation unit will also be out in full force next week. Donation sites include the Denison Public Library on Monday, Texoma Medical Center on Tuesday, Brookshire’s in Bonham on Wednesday and the Sherman Town Center on Friday.


Robertson said donors typically spend just 15-30 minutes in the chair, but their generosity can make a lasting impact in their own community.


“All of our blood stays local,” Robertson said. “The life that you save could be your neighbor’s, a family member’s or even your own,” Robertson said.


The Texoma Regional Blood Center is located at 3911 Texoma Parkway and is open 8 a.m - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m - 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Locations, dates and times for mobile blood drives can be found by visiting http://www.texomablood.org/Blood-Drives. Those with questions regarding the donation process are encouraged to call the Texoma Regional Blood Center at 903-893-4314.


Drew smith is a reporter and photographer for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at asmith@heralddemocrat.com.