The St. Mary's Regional Blood Center is reaching out to Western Colorado residents with a specific blood type. It seems supplies are low and donations are needed.

I've been a blood donor for over 30 years, and this is the first time I recall the blood center ever reaching out to me directly due to a need for a particular blood type. I'm O Positive, as are many people. At this time, supplies are in short supply. According to the email I received:

Due to high patient usage our OPOS inventory has dropped below minimum levels!

It's not uncommon to receive an email from the St. Mary's Regional Blood Center reminding you about the importance of blood donations. From time to time you'll get an email detailing a particular promotion. Again, though, I've never received one requesting my blood type.

Have you donated blood before? If not, let me assure you, it's one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do. This list has been published many times before, but maybe it's time to run it again. These are my top five reasons why you should donate blood.

5. It's painless. Seriously, it doesn't hurt. Yeah, they have to poke a finger with a little needle to get a sample, and that's kind of a drag. Aside from that, you hardly notice anything.

4. The people at the blood bank are awesome.

3. You really do get free orange juice and cookies!

2. You never know when you might need blood. Wouldn't it give you real peace of mind to know there was blood waiting should you need it?

1. You literally are saving a life. How many times today will somebody need blood right here in Grand Junction? How about around the country? Will it be someone you know? A family member? Be proactive! Emergencies happen without warning, but that doesn't mean you can't be prepared.

It's time for my fellow O Positive peeps to step up and donate! Let's do this! In my mind, it's a matter of very basic math: A large percentage of people have O Positive blood, so it figures that a large percentage of people in need of blood would be O Positive.

Stop by the blood center Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., or Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. I typically walk in around 2 p.m. and have the place pretty much to myself. If you can't make it to the blood center, the Bloodmobile is out and about. Now's the time. Save a life and donate blood.

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