This Thursday and Friday, from 9 am to 4 pm, the Oklahoma Blood Institute, in conjunction with the Oklahoma Pork Council, is holding their annual "Pre-Memorial Day" blood drive in their Lawton facility at 211 SW A Ave.

Over 1000 blood donors are needed daily to keep with the needs of patients at our local hospitals and across the state. And over a holiday weekend like the coming Memorial Day weekend, because of a greater demand and fewer donors, the need far exceeds the supply. That's why OBI is asking that before you 'check out' for the weekend, you 'check into' OBI.

For each donation you receive free, 2 admissions to the Oklahoma City Zoo, a special, limited edition OBI/Oklahoma Pork Commission t-shirt and a delicious pulled pork sandwich with all the fixin's to fill you up. Plus, one lucky donors name will be drawn at the end of the drive, and that person will win a barbequed pork picnic for themselves and 40 friends, courtesy of the Oklahoma Pork Council.

photo by Seth Coburn

Every two seconds, someone needs blood in the U.S. Each unit of blood donated can save up to three people, and while all blood types are needed, those with type O Negative blood are especially encouraged to donate, Type O Negative, or the "universal donor" can be used for anyone in need, especially when the patients type is immediately known.

Donations are welcome from all healthy adults above 110 lbs, and kids 16-17 above 125 lbs with parental approval. You can donate blood once every 56 days. OBI wants to remind you that less than one in ten eligible people donate blood annually. Be a super hero and save a life, donate blood this Memorial Day weekend with the Oklahoma Blood Institute. For more information, or to make an appointment to donate (though no appointment is necessary), please call OBI at (580) 353-6451.

photo by Seth Coburn