I remember the first time I gave blood. It was in high school, and there was a blood drive right in the lobby of our gym. Since I was 18 at the time, I didn't need my parents permission, so I sat right down and dropped a pint. After that, I would've loved to, but they had pretty strict rules about folks with tattoos back in the day.

These days, that old rule is gone. You can sit right down with all your tattoos, and they will happily drain some of your precious life force away. Hahaha. Not really. In fact, you usually get a snack when it's all over, so that isn't too bad. But if you need a bigger incentive than cookies or juice, Red Cross has you covered.

At today's blood drive, taking place at the Anah Temple at 1404 Broadway, Bangor, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., you can also receive a COVID antibody test. These days when it comes to virus protection, every little bit counts. With new cases on the rise, even here in Maine, knowing where you stand can't be a bad thing.

And the Red Cross needs you right now. Donations have slowed down a bit, and blood really doesn't have much storage life. So the need is always strong. Donations were coming in fast at the beginning of COVID, but is now slowing down as people are starting to stay home more again.

Red Cross Donor Recruitment Associate Beverly Austin, said this to WFVX - TV22:

We aren’t seeing as many people coming in as before. Blood only has a shelf life of six weeks so it’s really important for us to replenish so it’s here when we need it.

Again, that blood drive goes from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. today..... Please donate if you can.

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