Now is the time to donate blood. The St. Mary's Regional Blood Center needs donations, and they're willing to kick in some ice cream for the effort.

I just received an email on my personal account from the blood center. They say two blood drives canceled on Monday and they're running a little short on donations. What's in it for you? Well, besides the knowledge that you're saving lives, you'll enjoy a pint of ice cream. It's called a "Pint for a Pint" and it going on throughout August at the St. Mary's Regional Blood Center.

Here are my five reasons why you should donate today:

5. It's painless. Seriously, it doesn't hurt. Yeah, they have to poke a finger with a little needle to get a sample, and that's kind of a drag. Aside from that, you hardly notice anything.

4. The people at the blood bank are awesome.

3. You really do get free orange juice and cookies!

2. You never know when you might need blood. Wouldn't it give you real peace of mind to know there was blood waiting should you need it?

1. You literally are saving a life. How many times today will somebody need blood right here in Grand Junction? How about around the country? Will it be someone you know? A family member? Be proactive! Emergencies happen without warning, but that doesn't mean you can't be prepared.

As I've said before, donating blood usually takes less than half an hour. You can walk in, answer a handful of questions, and then donate. It's quick, almost painless, and extremely rewarding.

Stop by the blood center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., or Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. I typically walk in around 2 p.m. and have the place pretty much to myself. Take a look at this photo from my last visit.

Waylon Jordan

If getting to the blood center is difficult, perhaps you can hit one of the blood drives with the bloodmobile. Check out the bloodmobiles calendar for more info.

I'm not an ice cream person, but with temps lingering around the 100-degree mark, even I like the idea of a cold pint of deliciousness. Save a life, feel good about, and then dive into a pint of ice cream. Donate today.