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Red Cross: Be extraordinary, donate blood regularly

With just 38 percent of the population eligible to give blood, and just a fraction of those eligible actually donating, the American Red Cross is asking eligible blood donors to give blood more often.

"The average blood donor gives less than two times a year, yet you can donate every 56 days," said Dr. David Mair, interim CEO of American Red Cross Blood Services North Central Region. "It's important for those who can donate to give regularly to help ensure that blood is available for patients in need."

To donate blood you need to be 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health. A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. The Red Cross believes that all blood donations are important and that people should donate whenever and wherever possible. Call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE or visit to make a blood donation appointment or for more information.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

Thursday, September 18, noon to 6 p.m. at the Community Center in Osakis.

Thursday, September 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Armory, 311 Broadway, Alexandria.