Nonprofit regional blood center, Blood Assurance, invites the community to participate in its ‘I Bleed’ initiative this fall. The campaign will begin Monday, Aug. 10 and continue until Tuesday, Oct. 20. During this time, all donors will receive a customized, limited edition football T-shirt from their choice of the following colleges: Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, UTC, TTU, ETSU and VT. These T-shirts will be available at all of the organization’s donor centers and bloodmobiles with the selection varying depending on location.

Donors will also have the opportunity to attend a tailgating party that will include free food, drinks, games and fun prizes for the family. The Tullahoma donor center will be hosting its tailgating party on Friday, Sept. 25 at its center location: 604 North Jackson St., located near Walgreens at Wilson Avenue.

“Blood Assurance is extremely grateful to our local donors who, with one blood donation, can save up to three lives throughout our region. We encourage donors to celebrate life, as well as their favorite college football team, by making a blood donation during the ‘I Bleed’ initiative,” said Charlie Callari, vice president of marketing and donor recruitment for Blood Assurance, Inc.

The entire blood donation process, from registration to post-donation snack, takes less than an hour. Blood Assurance currently needs more than 540 volunteer blood donors each day in order to adequately supply the demand from local hospitals, and just one blood donation can save up to three lives.

“Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood, and this need is always constant. We can’t thank the community enough for helping us save local lives with each donation,” said Adam Ellsworth, Northeast region marketing and donor recruitment manager for Blood Assurance.

Visit any of Blood Assurance’s 15 centers to donate. For operating hours of the nearest blood center, visit bloodassurance.org or call (423) 756-0966. To be eligible to donate blood, individuals must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more, and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids, avoiding caffeine, and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating. Follow @Bloodassurance on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates and event details.

Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving 51 counties and more than 75 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia. Over 540 volunteer blood donors are needed every day in order to adequately supply these hospitals. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council, and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need. Blood Assurance is based in Chattanooga.

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