January is the perfect time to donate blood

January means the start of a new year, and hope for a fresh start. For people who need blood, that is especially true.

Miller-Keystone Blood Center is honoring those who regularly donate blood by declaring January to be National Blood Donor Month.

According to www.redcrossblood.org, January has been National Volunteer Blood Donor Month since 1970. The reason?The month of January presents more challenges for people to give blood more than any other month. Various reasons, such as illness, weather conditions and holiday schedules make it difficult for donors to donate. However the icy road conditions that accompany January make it the month that increases the need for blood.

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Miller-Keystone plans to honor and recognize its regular donors by registering all people who donate in the month of January for various raffles and give-aways.

Donors who sign up to donate at any Miller-Keystone Blood Center donor center or blood drive during the entire month of January will be entered for a chance to win a $500 Visa Card. If donors choose to register to donate on the Mondays in January, they will receive a special prize for doing so. Finally, if donors register to donate at Reading or Bethlehem on January 27, which is being touted as Super Sunday, then all donors will be entered for their chance to win a special prize.

“We are extremely happy to be able to thank all our loyal blood donors during this month that is dedicated to all whohelp save lives. Our donors make it possible to supply to our 25 local hospitals and save lives in our communityevery day,” said Donor Resources Manager, Marsha Springel.

The New Year also offers an opportunity for area organizations and businesses to plan blood drives for 2013 and encourage employees to donate blood throughout the year.

Anyone interested in hosting a blood drive during January should contact Miller-Keystone’s Donor Resources department at 800-223-6667.

Miller-Keystone Blood Center is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) community blood center that has served EasternPennsylvania and Western New Jersey since 1971. Miller-Keystone Blood Center is headquartered in BethlehemPA, and currently operates donor centers in Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Lionville and Reading, and also hostsmore than 2,000 regional bloodmobiles annually.

For more information, visit www.giveapint.org