NASHUA — To celebrate its 90th anniversary, the Nashua Lions Club is hoping to collect at least 90 pints of blood today to help replenish New Hampshire’s blood supply.
“What better way to end the year than by collecting the precious gift of life,” said Elaine Lecius, president of the Nashua Lions Club.
For the club’s last project of 2013, it is teaming up with the American Red Cross to host one of the final blood drives of the year, which will take place this afternoon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.
“We encourage those who can to stop by and donate, and help us help the Red Cross build up their blood supplies heading into the New Year,” said Lecius.
According to the American Red Cross website for the New England region, the need for blood is great. Each day in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont, about 1,400 pints of blood must be collected to meet patient needs.
“In general, fewer people donate during summer months and holidays, but blood usage often increases. Summer and holiday donors are especially valuable,” says the site, adding that only 5 percent of the nation’s population gives blood.
When the American Red Cross launched its holiday campaign at the end of November, it urged people to give hope to those in need by giving something meaningful during the holiday season.
As many as 44,000 blood donations are needed every day across the country, according to a news release from the American Red Cross.
“During the holiday season, it is very difficult to collect enough blood for those who need it. People get busy with their holiday preparations and celebrations, and giving blood is not a priority,” says the release. “A blood donation to the Red Cross can help save up to three lives.”
Lecius is hopeful that local residents will take an hour out of their day to donate blood and also celebrate the 90 years of service by the Nashua Lions Club, the state’s second-oldest club.
Throughout that time, she said the organization has supported numerous groups by returning more than $1 million to the community since its inception in 1923. The club has donated hundreds of eyeglasses to needy children and adults, built the Friendship Club, honored local educators and helped establish the Holman Stadium Sports Legends Hall of Fame.
Now, the club is asking for a little bit in return, as it urges the public to assist with its end-of-the-year blood drive taking place today. Blood will be collected from noon to 6 p.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 2 Somerset Parkway in Nashua.