Blood shortage has agencies picking up donors in different area locations

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 16, 2005

While LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and the Red Cross barely keep a well-stocked supply throughout the year, the summer months tend to get tougher.

It is the time of the year when many go away on vacations or schedule elective surgeries, and with no supplying, and the demand growing, the suppy quickly diminishes.

Both organizations are experiencing shortages in their supply and are out on the road trying to collect what they can to help ease the shortage.

On Friday, LifeSouth was at the the Cracker Barrel, located on Interstate Drive, hosting a Restaurant Challenge Blood Drive as part of an eight-county program to combat a current blood shortage.

According to James McLendon, the donor recruiter for LifeSouth Community Blood Center, eight different counties were competing in the challenge.

"We have approximately 12 restaurants from Butler, Pike, Crenshaw, Dallas, Montgomery, Autauga, Elmore and Lowndes counties which are participating in this blood drive," McLendon said.

"We're not just looking for the restaurant employees to donate blood; we also, of course, are hoping for a big turnout from the public in general."

Those who donated blood on Friday received a t-shirt and a free cholesterol screening.

"Last year's winner was the Cracker Barrel in Prattville, so we hope to have many people to donate blood in order to help the Greenville Cracker Barrel be this year's big winner," he said. "The winning restaurant will receive 100 t-shirts with its restaurant logo on the front."

For more information about this blood drive or any upcoming drives, please call LifeSouth at 334-260-0803, which is the collection center in Montgomery, or access its website at

In addition to the Restaurant Challenge Blood Drive, the American Red Cross is announcing an emergency appeal to the public.

According to Keith Jordan, Red Cross communications manager, the blood and platelet supply remains dangerously low in the Central Gulf Coast region.

This Monday, July 18, the Red Cross bus will be in the Greenville Wal-Mart parking lot from 2 to 6 p.m.

All blood types are desperately needed.

Donors must be at least 17 years old, weigh 110 pounds or more, and they must show a photo I.D.

For more information, please call 1-800-448-5433 (1-800-GIVE LIFE) or visit or