Pay it forward this holiday season by donating blood

Staff Writer

United Blood Services is urging donors to remember that the need for blood never stops. The holiday season brings a 20 percent, or more, decline in blood donations. As people plan to spend the holidays with family and friends, there are patients who are planning to spend the holidays in the hospital. Those patients are counting on blood to make them stronger.

Pay it forward this holiday season by donating blood and United Blood Services may ‘pay it forward’ to donors. During Dec. 17-31, a $500 gift card winner will be selected each day. Donors will also receive a long-sleeve Pay it Forward T-shirt. United Blood Services hopes that these giveaways serve as a reminder that blood is only available when the time is taken to donate. 

“We recognize that everyone is preparing for the holidays and are short on time,” said Jared Luent, donor recruitment representative with United Blood Services. “However, please don’t forget that some patients will not go home for the holidays and blood will still be needed. Since your time is precious, you can speed up your donation by scheduling an appointment and completing your health history online prior to your donation at”

Luent said all blood types are always needed, however, donations from donors with O negative type blood, which is the universal blood type and is the most transfused in trauma situations, is in high demand year round.

Blood donation takes about an hour from check-in to refreshments. Donors can save about 20 minutes by completing their Fast Track Health History the day they
"Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health," Luent said. "Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have signed permission from a parent or guardian."

United Blood Services has been this area’s non-profit community blood provider since 1952, and serves patients in over 48 Mississippi and Alabama hospitals and medical care facilities. The United Blood Services network is one of the nation’s oldest and largest non-profit blood service organizations, and is a founding member of America’s Blood Centers and the AABB.

The United Blood Services Bloodmobile will be at the offices of WCBI Downtown 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 20.

The next available date to make a life saving donation of blood is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 26, at Leigh Mall-Columbus. Donors will be entered to win one of two $25 gift certificates to Leigh Mall
United Blood Services has been this area’s non-profit community blood provider since 1952, Those who wish to donate may call 877-UBS-HERO (877-827-4376) or visit to make an appointment to give.