Special to Iredell Free News

During the month of February, the American Red Cross joins in the celebration of Black History Month, recognizing the outstanding contributions of Dr. Charles R. Drew, an African American who discovered the way to store blood for long terms, making blood banks possible. He established the American Red Cross blood bank and was its first director.

Someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.

That’s why Chestnut Grove Community Center is on a mission to help save lives by hosting a blood drive on Monday, February 21, from 2 to 6:30 p.m. The Chestnut Grove Community Center is located at 223 Chestnut Grove Road.

The community is invited to take part in this special event and donate blood for hospital patients in our neighborhoods and across the nation. The need for blood is constant, but only 3 percent of the U.S. population donates.

By rolling up a sleeve, donors can play a critical role in the treatment of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease.

The Red Cross reports that it is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade. The dangerously low blood supply levels have forced some hospitals to defer patients from major surgery, including organ transplants.

Your donation is desperately needed. Please schedule an appointment to give now. All donors at this drive will be emailed a $20 Amazon gift card.

To make an appointment or to learn more, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Completion of a RapidPass online health history questionnaire is encouraged to help speed up the donation process. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the Chestnut Grove Community Center

Chestnut Grove Community Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 1970. It was conceived by a core group of Chestnut Grove residents who wanted to maintain, for community use and historic preservation, the physical structure that formerly housed Chestnut Grove Elementary School. That school, serving children in grades one through eight, was one of a small number of segregated facilities in Iredell County used to educate black citizens. Chestnut Grove residents subsequently purchased the building from the Iredell County Board of Education. Its mission is to improve the quality of life for youth and families in the community by providing services that promote community prosperity, physical health, and by offering programs and cultural events which preserve the African American heritage.

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