First responders, county workers participate in blood drive at law enforcement center

The Blood Assurance Blood Brigade sits in front of the Rome-Floyd County Law Enforcement Center on Wednesday, June 24, 2020, for a blood drive that saw a number of donors, including several county and city employees.

Blood Assurance is holding a “Thanks for Giving” event at their Rome center, 168 Shorter Ave., in an effort to boost collections before the Thanksgiving holiday.

On Thursday they will be giving away one $50 Butterball coupon every hour to blood donors. The Butterball coupons can be redeemed for food products anywhere that sells groceries.

The Rome location will be open until 10 p.m. to accommodate more donors.

Officials said the days around Thanksgiving are a difficult time to collect for blood banks across the country. That, combined with an increase in travel, can lead to shortages in some areas. Blood Assurance is asking the community to please donate blood before the holiday to help prevent such a shortage.

“We need our community to come out and give on this day and we want to specially thank them for giving during this time,” said J.B. Gaskins, president and CEO of Blood Assurance. “Traumas will inevitably increase while donations will decrease and this can lead to a shortage over the holiday. We hope our donors will be inspired to give and save lives.”

Donors can schedule their visit online at or by calling 800-962-0628 or texting BAGIVE to 999777.

Blood Assurance is continuing to take COVID-19 precautions. Staff are wearing masks and frequently disinfecting all items and surfaces. They are also accepting donors by appointment only, to ensure adequate distance.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be at least 17 years old (16 years old with parental consent), weigh 110 pounds or more and be in good health. Donors are asked to drink plenty of fluids — avoiding caffeine — and eat a meal that is rich in iron prior to donating.

Blood Assurance is a nonprofit, full-service regional blood center serving more than 70 health care facilities in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, and North Carolina.

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