Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the area's exclusive provider of blood products to over 40 area hospitals, continues to experience a shortage of type O negative red cells and AB plasma. Donations are needed immediately to ensure adequate reserve levels are maintained.

To help meet the area’s needs, three blood drive will be held next week.

From 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in Cabool, donors may give blood at First Baptist Church, 801 Ozark St. In Thayer, a drive will be held from 1:15 to 5:15 p.m. Wednesday at Thayer High School, 401 E. Walnut St., and from 1 to 6 p.m. Jan. 24 in Willow Springs, a drive will be held at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 701 Main St.

On average, a transfusion takes place every seven minutes and around 200 donations are needed each day to meet the area's blood needs.

Donors will receive a free long-sleeve shirt for giving in January.

Each donation will be awarded LifePoints as a part of CBCO’s donor rewards program. LifePoints may be redeemed online for a variety of gift cards, or points may be assigned to other meaningful causes or charities.  More information on the LifePoints donor rewards program may be found at www.cbco.org.

To be eligible to give blood, donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good health and present a valid photo ID. For more information visit www.cbco.org or call toll-free, 800-280-5337.

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