OKEECHOBEE — It’s roundup time again! Every November, Okeechobee community members are asked to roll up their sleeves and help save lives at the 14th Annual Okeechobee Blood Roundup.
The community blood drive will be held in the Okeechobee Freshman Campus Auditorium on Nov. 23 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 24, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This year the roundup salutes our heroes and honors our veterans. All blood donors will receive a commemorative Roundup T-shirt, coupon bag and refreshments, and be eligible for drawings to win hundreds of prizes such as fishing trips, barbecue grills, hotel stays and more.
Each time they give blood, donors are also given a free wellness check including blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count and cholesterol screening.
Over the years the Okeechobee Blood Roundup has shown what a big difference a small community can make, “rustling up” thousands of units of blood. According to OneBlood, the roundup is Florida’s largest and longest running annual blood drive.
Because blood donations are processed into blood components, and in most cases patients only receive the components they need, each blood donation may help save as many as three lives.
Blood drives like the roundup ensure Florida hospitals have a safe and secure blood supply. From the time a donation is collected, it takes about 24 hours to test and type the blood and then process it into blood components. In an emergency, lives may depend on having that blood ready to use for transfusions.
If you are age 17 or older and in good health, you may be eligible to give blood. If you have any questions about blood donations, stop by the roundup and speak to a blood donation medical professional.