Placing a value on blood is best accomplished by imagining if blood was not available when you or someone you love needed it. Think about what that looks like: a life lost, a surgery delayed or cancelled, trauma services not available, and even cancer

Blood has a limited shelf life; sustaining the community supply requires daily contributions from heroic blood donors that provide transfusion support for 600 to 800 patients a day in North, Central and East Texas hospitals.

For decades, Carter BloodCare’s largest donor participation pool has been comprised by those of the World War II era and Baby Boomer generations, but these groups are aging. It is essential that everyone in the community begins to look at blood donation as a fundamental support for robust, high-tech medical care.

To combat these struggles, Panola College is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 1109 W. Panola in the parking lot in front of the ballroom on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Jody Harris at (903) 693-2011.

Carthage’s annual Battle of the Badges blood drive competition is from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11 at 321 W. Panola in the parking lot of the Police/Fire Building on the Carter BloodCare bus. For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Jacque Decker at (903) 504-0812.

Eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water one to two hours before giving blood. Standard eligibility requirements are a minimum weight of 110 pounds, that the donor feels well that day and presents a government-issued photo ID at each donation.

For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call or text (800) 366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.