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GRAVETTE -- Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO), the sole supplier of blood and plasma to patients at more than 40 area healthcare facilities, reports a critical shortage of all blood types. The blood needs of area patients have increased, but mobile blood drive cancellations continue. As a result, any mobile blood drives that remain scheduled become vitally important.

CBCO donors provide all the blood for patients at Ozarks Community Hospital in Gravette, as well as all Northwest Arkansas area hospitals and dozens more across the region. Since the covid-19 pandemic began in March, over 280 blood drives have been canceled or postponed, affecting over 9,000 blood donations.

Gravette area residents will have the opportunity to donate at Ozarks Community Hospital, 1101 S.W. Jackson, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, July 30, and at CV's Family Foods, 200 First Ave. S.E., on Friday, July 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Donors will receive a CBCO 25th anniversary throwback T-shirt and a $5 gift card redeemable in CBCO's LifePoints Local online store. They will also be entered to win a basketball goal and a $25 gift card donated by CV's.

Gravette city and hospital leaders are strongly encouraging blood donors to support the sole local provider of blood.

"Ozarks Community Hospital is proud of the ongoing partnership we have with Community Blood Center of the Ozarks, and greatly appreciates their dedication to the work they do," Scott Taylor, administrator of Ozarks Community Hospital, said. "We hope members of the community can come down and see the wonderful staff of CBCO and donate. A little bit of time and blood helps a lot of people."

Gravette Mayor Kurt Maddox supports saving lives and giving to CBCO. "Giving blood is an easy and selfless act that can help people right here in our community. Your contribution today can help save the life of your neighbor, family member or friend tomorrow. I will continue to donate blood during this especially important time and want to say thank you in advance to everyone who will donate during the blood drive."

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