This article was originally published in the Walker County Messenger.

As blood donations run dangerously low throughout the summer months, Blood Assurance, the local non-profit blood donor center, is launching the “New Blood in North Georgia” campaign during the month of August. The campaign aims to recruit first-time blood donors in Catoosa and Walker counties while encouraging existing donors to continue giving blood. The campaign was created by two members of Blood Assurance’s North Georgia Advisory Board, representing Catoosa and Walker counties.

Throughout the month of August, all Blood Assurance donors across North Georgia will be automatically entered to win an assortment of prizes, including a Roper electric range, a $100 Visa gift card and a Blood Assurance gift basket.

Members of the community are encouraged to bring a friend with them to donate. “If you’ve never donated before, bringing a friend is a great way to calm your fears,” said Mindy Quinn, marketing manager for Blood Assurance. “If you’re already a blood donor, bring someone who has never donated so they can experience what a wonderful feeling it is to help save a life and be a hero for someone in need.”

To be eligible to donate, you must be at least 17 (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. The process usually takes about 30 minutes and includes a complimentary snack and t-shirt. 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 located at 2720 LaFayette Road in Fort Oglethorpe, next to Sear’s Shoe Store. This collection center is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, contact Blood Assurance at (706) 861-5983 or visit

Blood Assurance is a non-profit, full-service regional blood center serving 51 counties and more than 75 health care facilities in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia. Over 540 volunteer blood donors are needed every day in order to adequately supply these hospitals. Founded in 1972 as a joint effort of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, the Chattanooga Area Hospital Council, and the Chattanooga Jaycees, the mission of Blood Assurance is to provide a safe and adequate supply of blood and blood components to every area patient in need. Blood Assurance is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee.