The St. Mary's Regional Blood Center is reaching out to Western Colorado residents with a specific blood type. It seems supplies are still very low and donations are needed.

This is the first time I recall the blood center ever reaching out to me directly due to a need for a particular blood type. An email was sent out last week to those in the area with O Positive blood, with a followup email sent yesterday.

Check out the photo at top. Look at all those empty chairs. Let's fill them up! The St. Mary's Regional Blood Center has an amazing staff. Typically, you can typically donate blood in less than 30 minutes.

I'm O Positive, as are many people. At this time, supplies are in short supply. While the original email resulted in a response from the public, the followup email states their inventory is still running low. According to the email I received:

Due to high patient usage our OPOS inventory has dropped below minimum levels! - St. Mary's Regional Blood Center

It's not uncommon to receive an email from the St. Mary's Regional Blood Center reminding you about the importance of blood donations. From time to time you'll get an email detailing a particular promotion. Again, though, I've never received one requesting my blood type. I've certainly never received a followup email.

Have you donated blood before? If not, let me assure you, it's one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do. This list has been published many times before, but maybe it's time to run it again. These are my top five reasons why you should donate blood.

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.

It's time for my fellow O Positive peeps to step up and donate! Let's do this! I find myself very concerned with the urgency of these emails. In 30 years of donating blood, never before have I seen a call to action like this, not even in times of emergency.

In my mind, it's a matter of very basic math: A large percentage of people have O Positive blood, so it figures that a large percentage of people in need of blood would be O Positive.

Stop by the St. Mary's Regional Blood Center at 750 Wellington Ave., Entrance 22, 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. If you can't make it to the blood center, the Bloodmobile is out and about. Now's the time. Save a life and donate blood.

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