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story.lead_photo.caption The basement of First Christian Church in downtown Fulton bustled with donors during a July American Red Cross blood drive organized by Super Sam Foundation. With summer's end approaching, donations have dried up, according to the ARC. Photo by Helen Wilbers / Fulton Sun.

With many regular donors delaying giving to take final summer vacations and prepare for school to start, the American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet donations to help end a summer blood shortage.

While thousands of donors have rolled up a sleeve this summer, blood and platelet donations aren't keeping pace with patient needs. More donations are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply and be prepared for patient emergencies.

Make an appointment to donate blood now by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Those who donated blood earlier this summer may be eligible to give again. Blood can be safely given every 56 days, and Power Red donations can be given every 112 days.

With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help overcome the shortage by coming to give July 29 through Aug. 29 with a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in Callaway County include:

Auxvasse

Aug. 27: 2-6 p.m., Grand Prairie Baptist Church, 104 N. Main St.

Fulton

Aug. 20: 3-7 p.m., Southside Baptist Church, 395 Country Meadows Lane.

Aug. 23: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Fulton State Hospital, 600 E. 5th St., Biggs Site.

Aug. 26: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., YMCA of Callaway, 1715 Wood St.

Aug. 30: 10 a.m.-3 p.m., Callaway County Public Library, 710 Court St.

Many more blood drive events are upcoming in neighboring Boone, Cole and Audrain counties, as well. To view more opportunities to donate, visit redcrossblood.org.

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