You've seen the signs by the side of the road that read "Urgent Need For Blood" and "Blood Drive - Donate Today," but have you ever actually stopped and donated? Did you know that the whole process of donating a pint of blood only takes about an hour and could save up to three people's lives? It could also mean a trip to the Super Bowl.

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I'm a regular blood donor and have been donating since I was in high school, but got a little sloppy about going as frequently as I should have until my dad got sick and relied on blood transfusion to literally keep him alive, so I started going again, as often as I was allowed. I feel such a satisfaction when I donate blood because I know that giving something that I have plenty of has the ability to give another person life.

If you'd like to join me in saving lives through blood donation, please consider stopping by the blood drive that the American Red Cross of the Southern Tier is holding today, January 9, the American Legion Post 80 at 76 Main Street in Binghamton. The blood drive will take place from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and not only will the American Red Cross be handing out reusable tote bags (great for the upcoming NYS Plastic Bag Ban) but every person who makes a blood donation will be entered for the chance to go to the Super Bowl!

Appointments aren't necessary but will help speed up the check-in process. If you'd like to make an appointment for today, you can call 800-RED-CROSS or visit Otherwise, just show up and the staff will walk you through everything.

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