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Celebrate Red Cross Month - give blood

Across the country, the American Red Cross is reminding communities that March is Red Cross Month, a time to commemorate Red Cross involvement.

March was initially declared Red Cross Month in 1943, when President Roosevelt issued the first proclamation to remind the American public that the Red Cross is committed to providing blood and blood products, disaster assistance and emergency social services across the United States and worldwide.

Red Cross Month allows the organization an opportunity to address one of its largest challenges - collecting enough blood to meet the needs of patients around the country. More than 38,000 blood donations are needed daily, and while approximately 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, only a fraction of those eligible actually do.

"The Red Cross relies on the support of the American public in order to provide all of the services we offer," said Geoff Kaufmann, CEO of the local Red Cross Blood Services North Central Region. "Donating blood is one way to support the Red Cross, and help patients in your community and around the nation."

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Alexandria include:

•March 24 - 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Armory, 311 Broadway.

•March 26 - 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 411 Hawthorne Street.

•March 27 - 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 411 Hawthorne Street.

To donate blood, call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE (1-800-448-3543) or visit to make an appointment or for more information.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Eligible donors must be at least 17 years old, must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health.