DES MOINES, Iowa -- It is a 35-year-old tradition that saves more than 1,500 local lives annually. Blood Donor Day is Thursday and Iowans can donate at two locations; Capitol Square from 6 A.M. to 11 A.M. and Valley West Mall from 11 A.M. to 7 P.M. There is no appointment necessary, and each person who donates will receive a free t-shirt.
The blood drive is put on by LifeServe Blood Center which supplies blood and blood products to 120 hospitals in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.
LifeServe Blood Center's Marketing Director Danielle West said this blood drive comes at a very important time of the year, "The need for blood rises in the summer and unfortunately we see the least amount of blood donations around this time."
In order to donate blood you must be at least 16 (with a parent/guardian's signed consent) and at least 120 pounds and in good health.
West said the entire blood donation process takes about 45 minutes to an hour with a short questionnaire and physical.
If you have any concerns about being deferred from donating blood call LifeServe Blood Center at 800-287-4903.