As flu season and winter weather impact the blood supply, Arkansas Blood Institute urges Arkansans to join the “Blood Donor Challenge” to make sure area patients have the blood they need.

Join Wal Mart Greenwood at a blood drive with Arkansas Blood Institute. Healthy adults*, age 16 and older, can give blood from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m., Friday, February 10 on the bloodmobile. Donors will receive a free Blood Donor Challenge t-shirt and health screenings at no cost. Donors can post to social media about their donation using the hashtag #blooddonorchallenge.

“As more people are hospitalized due to flu and other viruses, the need for blood increases,” said John Armitage, M.D., Arkansas Blood Institute president and CEO. “At the same time, some regular blood donors are coming down with illnesses and temporarily can’t give. In addition to hazardous weather conditions, winter presents significant challenges to the life-saving blood supply.”

Whole blood donations can be made every 56 days. Platelets can be donated up to 24 times a year.

Arkansas Blood Institute relies on donations from an average of 1,200 donors each day to meet the needs of patients statewide. One blood donation can save as many as three lives, and takes only about an hour. Those with negative blood types are especially urged to donate.

Arkansas Blood Institute, a non-profit blood center, serves 33 hospitals and medical facilities in the state.

Appointments can be made by visiting or calling (877) 340-8777.