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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — With the decline in blood donations that tends to happen over the summer, the Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) is urging people to stop in and roll up their sleeves.

Wednesday, June 14, is World Blood Donor Day, which is to celebrate the “donors and staff who make the selfless decision to help save lives in our community,” according to RIBC Marketing and Communications Manager Caitlin Grimaldi-Flick.

While RIBC is expecting to see many of its loyal donors on Wednesday, the center is hoping others will take the time to give and make it a “lifelong habit.”

“Our loyal donors played a pivotal role in helping us through the pandemic, and now we are urging first time, young and lapsed donors to consider donating,” Grimaldi-Flick said.

There’s always a need for blood, according to RIBC, but the pandemic caused the state’s supply to drop to “critical levels.” Grimaldi-Frick said it lost thousands of donations from a lack of high school blood drives alone.

“Youth blood donors are essential in helping us build and maintain a stable blood supply,” Grimaldi-Frick said.

“It takes less than an hour of your time and you will help save up to three lives,” she added. “There is no substitute for blood and that person in need could someday be you.”

To make an appointment, call (401) 453-8383 or visit the R.I. Blood Center’s website.

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