A new feature on Facebook will allow Blood Assurance, which has a donation center in Fort Oglethorpe, to notify local blood donors when donations are needed.

This new function will allow donors to see which blood centers are nearby and how to contact them. Facebook users can sign up at https://www.facebook.com/donateblood.

The link will let the user see current notifications and blood donation opportunities in their area. The donor will have the ability to control their settings using the “About” section on their profile page.

This program has already been successful in several countries around the world including India, Pakistan, and Brazil.

“We are excited about this new tool to reach potential blood donors,” Blood Assurance President and CEO J. B. Gaskins said. “People who use Facebook are connectors. This tool gives us the mechanism to close the circle by giving donors the opportunity to save lives within their Facebook family.”

This tool is arriving during the summer holidays when there are fewer donors, but, unfortunately, more accidents.

“We are the exclusive provider of blood and blood products to hospitals in this area and when patients need blood, they need it right away,’ Gaskins said. “A single trauma patient can create the need to restock our community blood supply immediately. Facebook will give us the mechanism to notify people in our community of urgent needs so that we can be prepared for that next trauma patient.”