(AP Photo/Valentina Petrova)
Wiregrass resident Charles Zeigler isn't a stranger to the Lifesouth Community Blood Center.
He's been coming to donate blood for the past 7-years, and he has a souvenir to prove it.
“I started donating blood in December of 06 and they gave me a hat so I got this idea about every new person that comes along would sign the hat and date it so the earliest date on here is December the 6th.” Blood donor Charles Zeigler said.
Zeigler makes sure he comes in any time the blood centers are in need...like right now, when officials say the demand for blood will soon go up.
“With school out, and family taking vacations, that takes people off of their regular schedule but it also takes them away from the area.” Regional Lifesouth Manager Beverly Zeigler said.
Holland says during the summer it's typical to see donations go down and the need go up.
“While they're out there on the road, we know just from history that accidents happen more frequently during the summer.” Holland said.
Lifesouth is currently in need of all blood types.
And if you're afraid of needles...you're not alone.
“I wanted to give it years ago but I was scared of needles.” Zeigler said.
How did Zeigler face his fears?
“Just suck it up and get over it only last a few seconds and the end result is worth the pain.” Zeigler said.
30 minutes of your time can save three lives
“The ultimate thing for me would be to be donating blood right here and somebody taking it straight to er to save someone’s life.” Zeigler said.
Zeigler says even though you're only allowed to donate every so often, he'll continue doing it as long as he can, and maybe get a few more signatures on his hat.
Local hospitals need blood centers to draw at least 16-units of blood a day, so they're always looking for donors.