RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Every two seconds, a need for blood arises in the United States, a critical demand that the American Red Cross strives to meet.
To help meet this need, ABC11 held its annual ABC11 Together Blood Drive on January 10 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
ABC11 viewers from across the region came together to give the gift of life. Donation centers were set up in Durham, Raleigh, and Fayetteville.
One donation can save up to three lives and while the final number of donations Wednesday has not been released, it's undeniable that the efforts and generosity of the day will save many lives.
Blood donations can extend a lifeline to accident and burn victims, individuals undergoing heart surgery, organ transplant recipients, and those bravely fighting leukemia, cancer, or sickle cell disease.
"I know my blood is helping someone else, you know what I mean?" Anthony Ross of Fayetteville said while participating in the blood drive. "It's only the right thing to do. My father used to say it's nice to be nice, so I'm just being nice."
Other volunteers stepped up because they've been personally affected by blood donations. That was the case for Arnold King; he had a blood transfusion when he was born.
"It saved my life, you know what I mean? So I thought I'd help save somebody else's life," he said.
One person who did not want to be named had another reason for donating:
"God saved my life from suicide, and it was just the way I wanted to give back. I'm sorry for crying. It just feels really good today that hopefully I get to save someone else's life."
Appointments for the ABC11 Together Blood Drive are encouraged and available at the locations listed below.
Donating is easy and seamless.
"It takes a moment of your time to roll up your sleeve and give that gift of life," Executive Director of American Red Cross Sandhills Chapter Phil Harris said. "It could be neo-natal babies, it could be sickle cell recipients, it could be cancer patients, it could be any accident victim. So really, it's that blood on the shelf that's important."
New this year: Recent eligibility changes mean more people can contribute. Adjustments related to gender, sexual orientation, and European travel have expanded opportunities for individuals to make a life-saving impact. If you have questions about your eligibility status, click here for more information.
Don't miss this chance to be a hero in someone's life. Schedule your appointment now at RedCrossBlood.org (using sponsor code ABC11), call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), or register through the Blood Donor app.
As a token of appreciation, presenting donors will receive a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt while supplies last!