CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The American Red Cross is partnering with Live 5 News for a blood drive on Thursday.
The event will take place between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. at Citadel Mall and will help boost blood donations during the winter months.
Red Cross officials say winter is one of the agency's most challenging periods when it comes to collecting enough blood to meet patient needs. Winter weather and seasonal flu epidemics can impact donors' ability to give.
But they say cases involving accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease keep the demand for blood constant year round.
The Red Cross and Live 5 News have partnered on blood drives since 2009. Live 5 News blood drives have collected 1,470 pints of blood, helping to save the lives of up to 4,410 people in the community, according to Red Cross spokesperson Krystal Overmyer.
All presenting donors at Thursday's blood drive receive a Live 5 News coffee mug and a coupon for a free sandwich from Chick-Fil-A at Citadel Mall, while supplies last.
The Red Cross urges donors to make an appointment to give blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor app, calling 1-800-RED-CROSS, or by following this link: http://rdcrss.org/1ylULhY
Live 5 News will staff a phone bank Wednesday afternoon for people who have questions or wish to schedule an appointment to donate blood.