There is no substitute for blood. Only another person can donate the blood that could save a patient’s life. Blood is not manufactured and must be available before it is required for a patient. That's where you come in.

This week Carter Bloodcare will be hosting several convenient blood drives set up at locations across East Texas. You can just stop by on lunch or after work, and save a life.

Deerwood Apartments is hosting a blood drive from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, August 1 at 2801 Calloway Road in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Lauren Johnston at (903) 566-1995.

The Hudson is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to noon Wednesday, August 1 at 701 Shiloh Road in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Sheri Harrington at (903) 581-2215.

Hunter's Glen is hosting a blood drive from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, August 2 at 5100 Sweetbriar Lane in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Jan Monreal at (903) 581-6062.

Classic Toyota-Mercedes-Benz is hosting a blood drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, August 3 at 1717 W.S.W. Loop 323 in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Kelli Kelley at (903) 581-0600.

Patterson is hosting a blood drive from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, August 3 at 3120 S.S.W. Loop 323 in the parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Kirk Wallace at (903) 561-2404.

About 37 percent of the population, at any given time, is eligible to donate blood. Yet, less than four percent of eligible donors in the Carter BloodCare service area gives blood. Approximately 600 to 800 patients daily require blood transfusions. Many of them will require more than one unit of blood and/or blood components. Carter BloodCare likes to see 1,000 donors each day to meet the daily demand. Summer is one of the most challenging times of year to do that.

Hospitals full of patients depend on blood donations – even while many healthy individuals enjoy summer fun. Blood donors help ensure chemotherapy patients receive platelets they require; red cells are available for heart surgery patients; and when a lifesaving donor organ arrives, blood is available to perform the operation.

Donors must remember to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water one to two hours before giving blood. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, feel well on the day of donation, and present a government-issued photo ID each time they give blood.

Potential blood donors may volunteer beginning at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds may give independently and there is no upper age limit for donating blood. For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call 1-800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.

About Carter BloodCare

Carter BloodCare is an independent, community blood center providing transfusion resources to more than 180 medical facilities in 50-plus counties of north, central and east Texas. The non-profit 501(c)(3) organization is one of the largest blood programs in Texas, delivering more than 300,000 blood products annually to meet hospitals’ requirements for their patients. Services include collection, processing, specialized laboratory testing, storage and distribution of blood and blood products. The program is accredited by the AABB, including a laboratory with accreditation for molecular testing of red cell antigens. It is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is a member of America’s Blood Centers.