ABILENE, Texas - The summertime is when local blood banks need your donations the most.
Blood centers get about half of their donations from high school and college students, most of whom are gone for the summer.
The Meek Blood Center is already feeling the effects of a drop in summertime blood donations.
They need about 60 donations a day to operate efficiently.
"Most blood centers have gotten very dependent on high school and college students for their blood donations and those drop off in the summertime," said donor recruiter Frances Baker.
It's no surprise that giving blood matters.
"You're saving lives," Baker said. "It might be a cancer patient, it might be someone having surgery, it could be a premature baby, it could be someone whose been in an accident. There are many uses for blood and blood products," she said.
If you needed another incentive to give, for the next two months, if you give a pint of blood, you get a pint...of ice cream.
"It's just a lot of fun for us to be able to give that reward to our donors and our donors really look forward to getting the ice cream," Baker said.
Blue Bell donates about 2,000 pints of ice cream to the center each summer.
Local businesses can help increase summertime donations by hosting a blood drive using the center's "bloodmobiles."
"What we found is that if we go to people, they're usually willing to come out instead of us waiting for them to come to us," Baker said.
The Meek Blood Center is making it easier for people to give blood.
They stay open until 7 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday and their two "bloodmobiles" are out and about five days a week.
You can find out where the "bloodmobiles" will be by clicking here.
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