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Mississippi Blood Services to host Battle of the Badges drive

Mississippi Blood Services will be hosting the second-annual Oxford Battle of the Badges blood drive on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The MBS Donor Coaches will be parked at the Oxford Municipal Building and Waller Funeral Home, and everyone who donates will receive a free t-shirt. The Battle of the Badges blood drive is a competition between local law enforcement and first responders; in this case, The Lafayette County Sheriff’s Department, Oxford Police Department, and the Lafayette and Oxford Fire Departments.

According to Susan Ates, the public relations specialist for MBS, the concept for the blood drive originated due to the fact that first responders know how important it is to have a safe and adequate blood supply, just by seeing that need in their own lives.

“When one of their own needs blood, whether due to illness or their line of work, first responders are always willing to roll up their sleeves and donate,” Ates said. “MBS realized that a lot of people want to show their appreciation for their first responders and realized a great way for them to show support was by donating blood.”

Donors at the event will be able to donate to a department of their choice. The winning department will receive a trophy and bragging rights for the year, but the real winners, Ates said, are those who better the lives of others by donating blood.

In the summer months, she said, blood banks typically run low. To remedy that, MBS is hoping to inspire first-time donors to become regular donors, because those who wear a badge aren’t the only people who can save lives.

“Year after year we see great support and turn out from all departments that are involved in this Battle of the Badges blood drives,” said Jennifer Hudson, MBS Marketing Representative in North Mississippi. “The feedback we get is that they all love being able to come together to use their influence in the community to save lives.”

In addition to giving the gift of life, donors will also have the chance to win $1,000 as part of the MBS Save Our Summer $1,000 Giveaway summer promotion, which began in May and runs through Friday, Aug. 18.

Every week during the promotion, Mississippi Blood Services will be giving away $1,000 to a donor. All donors at all blood drive and fixed site locations are eligible. One donor every week will win $1,000 during the 12-week promotion. Donations count Sunday through Saturday and names will be drawn the following Monday.

“Donating blood is simple, but the impact is amazing, because it isn’t just patients that blood donors help – it’s their families, friends and communities,” Ates said. “We depend on blood donors, those unsung heroes who rarely get the opportunity to know who they’ve helped, yet are still a vital part of the life-saving team that help patients with catastrophic illnesses and life-threatening injuries. Whether it’s a cancer or sickle cell patient, a trauma patient or someone undergoing surgery, blood donors save lives.”

As the only blood center headquartered in Mississippi, all of the blood MBS collects, processes and distributes goes to patients in the state of Mississippi and surrounding areas.

Donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and have a valid ID. For more information, visit msblood.com or call 888-90-BLOOD (902-5663) for information.