Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) encourages all Oklahomans to participate in “Blood Thanks & Giving Day” Thursday, August 2. This is a day to celebrate those whose lives have been saved by loyal, blood donors.

Anyone who has received blood is encouraged to show gratitude by sharing the story of how blood donation affected his/her life. When blood recipients fill out cards to share the stories at Oklahoma Blood Institute donor centers, not only will they be an encouragement to blood donors, but will also receive “I’m Alive Thanks to A Blood Donor” T-shirts.

Those, 16 and older, and generally, in good health, can donate blood. Blood can be donated every 56 days.  OBI supplies every drop of blood used by patients in 144 medical facilities throughout Oklahoma.

Every two seconds someone needs blood. Yet, of those eligible to donate blood in the U.S., less than ten percent actually donate each year.

“Blood given with Oklahoma Blood Institute meets the needs of those in Oklahoma communities,” said Dr. John Armitage, Oklahoma Blood Institute president and CEO. “So blood donors know they are saving the lives of their friends, family and co-workers – often the lives of people who have no idea they will need blood in an urgent situation.”

People who have had surgeries and returned to good health can donate blood as early as two weeks after their procedures.  Those who receive blood during surgery can give blood after a year.  Cancer survivors can donate just one year after being cancer free, except for those who have had hematologic blood cancers, such as leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood at any OBI site, call (877) 340-8777, or visit www.obi.org.