It's that time of year when accidents increase and more people call on the good graces of others to save their lives in the emergency or operating rooms at local hospitals.

But it's also the time of year when people are on vacation, traveling and enjoying what little good weather the area has seen this summer.

Busy people often overlook the importance of donating blood at this time of year. The American Red Cross reports the typical drop in summer donations this year was preceded by a lower-than-normal number of donations this spring, meaning the need in the Northwest is critical.

It's up to volunteers to help provide the supply needed for a busy summer. If you haven't invested the time and put up with the slight discomfort of donating blood before, now is the time.

It doesn't cost money to donate. It's simply a matter of finding a donation drive nearby and spending the couple hours filling out forms and donating.

Visit, click on the link 'Find a local blood drive,' enter your zip code and make an appointment. Eligible blood donors also can call 1-800 RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to find a blood drive or to make an appointment.

Any blood type is welcome, but the most common types, A-positive and 0-positive are needed the most, while 0-negative is useful because this blood type can be used on anyone needing a transfusion.

Remember, donors must be at least 17, 110 pounds, depending on height and be in good general health.

Upcoming blood drives

8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, July 23

St. Joseph The Worker

2310 S.E. 148th Ave., Portland

1:30 - 7:00 p.m., Thursday, July 28

St Henry's Catholic Church

395 N.W. First St., Gresham

Donation Types: Blood, Double Red Cell Donations

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