By Michaela Gibson Morris
TUPELO – Whether you bleed maroon and white or red and blue, football fans will be able to raise a pint today and score some tickets.
As part of its annual tailgating event, United Blood Services is offering donors at its Eason Bouleavard center in Tupelo or its drive at First Baptist Church in Amory, their pick of a pair of tickets to University of Mississippi or Mississippi State University Sept. 7 football games. Both the drive locations and the center will be open from noon to 6 p.m.
They also will be treated to a special football donor T-shirt and lunch from the Cattleman’s Association as well as a chance to win a tailgating package.
Often blood supplies are tight at the end of the summer, because blood centers have fewer drives scheduled while schools are on summer break and vacations disrupt the routines of regular donors.
But United Blood Services staff said donations are lower than normal.
“It’s not just Mississippi,” said donor recruitment specialist Roz Johnson. “It’s a trend nationally.”
All blood types are needed, but O-positive, all negative blood types and B-positive are particularly critical to meeting the needs of hospitals around the region, said Marla Richardson, assistant supervisor for the center’s hospital services department.
Although the football tickets are offered today only, donors who want to roll up their sleeves over Labor Day weekend won’t be out of luck. The center will be open regular hours on 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and special hours on 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The center will be closed Monday.
CONTACT UNITED BLOOD SERVICES at (662) 842-8871. Donors can save time by answering health interview questions online the day of their donation at www.unitedbloodservices.org.