Locally, college and high school students account for about 25% of the Red Cross' donor base. With school being out for the summer, the Red Cross is left with a critical shortage.
This shortage comes at a bad time, as summer is when blood donations are needed the most.
"During the summer, because your traveling does go up, and just like we've seen in this area lately, you have more vehicle accidents on the interstates," says Red Cross Donation Coordinator Nikki Cross.
Summer's warm weather also brings more physical activities, which result in more injuries.
The Red Cross loses donors of all ages during summer months because of vacations and schedule changes.
A group of local girls are doing their part to change that.
At first glance, it appears Allison Peaslee and her girlfriends are having a typical day of socializing, but these high school students are donating their down time to the Valdosta's Red Cross Blood Donor Center.
"Going in a group, it's just like hanging out, you know?" says Peaslee. "We're going to go out to lunch afterwards! It'll be like, instead of going to the movies, we're to go to the blood drive and donate blood."
Unfortunately, these girls are an exception to the norm.
"I think that it's important to give throughout the year," says rising Valwood senior, Jessie Glassmire. "It's not really an inconvenience just to come down to the donor center and give. It takes like thirty minutes, and it's something that's really helpful."
Donating blood is a faster and easier process than most anticipate.
"It wasn't bad at all," says Peaslee. "When they stuck the needle in my arm, I was like 'Really? That's it?'"
Just a few minutes of your day will make a major impact.
Peaslee adds, "I mean, it's thirty minutes of my day, and I save a life, you know? It's kind of cool."
Georgia's blood donorship is below the national average of 5%. In Georgia, only 3% of eligible donors actually give blood.
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