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January 2021 is "National Blood Donor Month." Have you donated blood lately? Here's my list of five reasons why you should donate blood today.

I received a call from the St. Mary's Regional Blood Center last month asking me to come in. I'm O-Positive, so they like me. They call me every ten weeks or so to remind me it's time to donate again.

Heads up - in these times of COVID-19, like many places, the blood center needs to space people apart. With that in mind, they are requiring reservations. It's very easy to do via the scheduling page at their official website.

Grand Junction's blood bank offers extensive hours. No lines, no fuss, just saving lives. Before they draw your blood, you have to fill out a little questionnaire. Most of the questions involve diseases you've probably never even heard of.

Others ask some rather personal questions. How does one say this delicately? They ask questions like, "Have you ever had sex with a prostitute from Europe who had a tattoo or piercing done in the last 12 months?"

Granted, the questions are a bit personal, but unless you're really into weird stuff, it's safe to say you can answer with a simple "No."

Here are my five reasons why you should donate today. Yes, I know I've recycled this list more than a few times. Hey, it's just as relevant now as it was two years ago.

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 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.

According to St. Mary's official webpage, one in seven people entering the hospital will need blood. Donate today. There's always a need. It really is a rewarding experience.

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