In recognition of May begin Trauma Awareness Month, 44 News and the American Red Cross at the corner of Stockwell and the Lloyd Expressway encourage you to give the gift of life on Monday, May 16th during the annual Life Saving Partners Blood Drive.

If it's been a while since you've donated (like me), or if you've never donated, but are considering it, the blood drive provides the perfect opportunity to do so.

Being a blood donor is important. As the Red Cross notes in a press release for the upcoming blood drive,

Each year, trauma accounts for approximately 41 million emergency department visits and 2.3 million hospital admissions in the U.S., according to the National Trauma Institute. A single car accident victim can need as many as 100 units of blood.

For someone like me whose blood type is O-Negative, donating is even more important as my type is universal and can be given to anyone who requires a transfusion regardless of what blood type they may be.

Participating in the blood drive is easy. Simply show up at the American Red Cross on Stockwell Road sometime between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. and check in. If you've donated before, present your Blood Donor Card, or if you're a first time donor, present your driver's license, or two other forms of identification. Then simply wait your turn. A phlebotomist will then take you to a chair where they'll prep you for your donation. Depending on how strong your blood pressure is, you'll be done with your donation in 15-30 minutes.

Everyone who participates in the blood drive will receive a free t-shirt and meal courtesy of the Pie Pan, while supplies last.