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Consider giving blood now...or in April

By Allison Graber

Individuals and organizations can seize the moment and share in honoring America’s volunteers this spring.
National Volunteer Week runs April 10 through 16 and celebrates the millions of people who dedicate themselves to taking action that helps better their communities. The week also provides opportunities to inspire, recognize and encourage people to seek out and engage in activities that can effect positive social change.
The next Whitley County blood drive is scheduled for Thursday, March 31, 2011, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the United Methodist Church , located at 605 N. Forest Parkway in Columbia City .  
“Everywhere you look, you’ll find a story about ordinary people accomplishing extraordinary things through volunteer service, including blood donation,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “And that’s cause for celebration.”
National Volunteer Week was established by President Richard Nixon in 1974, and continues to grow in scope through the support of all subsequent U.S. presidents and other elected officials.
At the American Red Cross, volunteers constitute 96 percent of the total work force needed to carry out the organization’s humanitarian mission. Around 155,000 volunteers assist Red Cross staff in collecting 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply from about 4 million volunteer blood donors. In addition, more than a half million people a year deliver Red Cross services in areas such as disaster relief, health and safety training, and support to military members and their families.
“Volunteers show all of us that you can make a difference in today’s world,” said Whitman. “We invite you to join the millions of people who help save the day by donating blood or giving of your time and talents through the American Red Cross.”

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