Earlier this month the American Red Cross issued an emergency call for blood and platelets. At the time of the call, blood donations were about 39,000 below what was needed to keep a healthy supply on hand. Since the call went out, donations have moved back up but there is still an urgent need for more blood.

There are two blood drives in our area this week. You may donate Tuesday, July 26, at the Blooming Prairie City Center from 1-6PM. Also the Owatonna Hospital will host a blood drive on Friday, July 29, from 9AM to 3PM.

Sue Thesenga of the American Red Cross was a guest on AM 1390's Talk of the Town. She pointed out that people as young as 16 with parental permission may donate. People 17 and older may donate with a legal ID.

Thirty-eight percent of the population is eligible to donate blood, yet only 10 percent do so.

You may go to the American Red Cross website to learn more, and you can now download an app from the Red Cross to your mobile device, which will save you time when going to donate blood.