Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI) and Greenwood’s Walmart are partnering this holiday season for a blood drive Saturday, Dec. 14. The drive to save the lives of those in area hospitals will occur from 11 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

One blood donation can save as many as three lives. Yet, it typically takes only an hour to give blood. This brief act of holiday generosity will make a major, life-saving difference.

"We’re blessed to be surrounded by giving people who respond when they know of a need," said John Armitage, M.D., president and CEO of Arkansas Blood Institute. "The gift of blood is a priceless one. It’s difficult to think of anything more important that we personally can do."

People 16 years and older* are usually able to give. During December, each blood donor receives a hot/cold gel pack, health screenings and Donor Rewards Points, redeemable at ABI’s online store.

If donors prefer, they can forgo the gel pack to support the Global Blood Fund. In turn, Oklahoma Blood Institute will make a monetary contribution of similar value to the Global Blood Fund. It’s a chance to give ‘again’ to support blood centers in countries lacking even the basics for a safe and secure blood supply.

Arkansas Blood Institute is a nonprofit regional blood center that provides every drop of blood needed for patients in 15 hospitals in Clark, Crawford, Franklin, Garland, Grant, Hot Spring, Jefferson, Johnson, Logan, Montgomery, Pike, Polk, Pope, Scott, Sebastian and Yell counties.

Donations can be made every 56 days. Appointments are not required but can be made by calling Arkansas Blood Institute at 877-340-8777 or visiting arkbi.org.

* 16 year olds must weigh at least 125 and provide signed parental permission, 17 year olds must weigh at least 125 pounds, 18+ year olds must weigh at least 110 pounds.