We sure know how to give when it comes to blood

PLEASE GIVE: Regular donor Ken Smith makes his 143rd donation with the help of nurse Kelly Kerr. Picture: Daniel Hartley-AllenCHRISTMAS is the time for giving and there is no better gift than the donation of blood.And it seems Ballarat people have big hearts.Regional city rivals Ballarat and Bendigo are locked in a battle to see who can donate the most blood during December – saving lives in the process.To date, Ballarat is narrowly leading the race with 783 donations, compared to Bendigo’s 767 donations.Each 500 millilitre donation can potentially save three people’s lives, which means both cities have potentially saved more than 4000 lives combined.Leading Senior Constable Des Hudson urged the city to roll up its sleeves and ensure the inaugural Community Blood Challenge Shield spent its first year in Ballarat.”We need to rally the Ballarat community to come out in support of the challenge and ensure Ballarat gets across the line by December 31 and ensure we are the premier blood-giving town of Victoria,” he said.Everyone who donates this month can go into the draw for an overnight package to the Crown Casino in Melbourne.”It’s just an incentive to get people along,” Leading Sen Const Hudson said.”We want people to give back this Christmas by giving blood.”And he also hoped first-time donors would then consider giving regularly, and has set himself the challenge of getting into the giving habit.One person clearly in the practice is Ken Smith.Sitting down for his 143rd donation, Mr Smith said it not only helped others but also himself, as he had his blood pressure checked every time he came in.”I’ve been trying to get more men to come, but as soon as they think about the needle … but it’s a very good thing (to do),” he said.Ballarat Blood Service community relations manager Kath Hansford said while many of us were taking a holiday, unfortunately the need for blood did not.”The Victoria Police’s commitment to help boost our numbers comes at a busy time for the Blood Service as during the holiday season fewer people come in to donate, yet the need for blood and blood products – these precious fluids – never stops,” she said.It only takes 30 minutes to donate blood and 40 to donate plasma – the pale liquid part of the blood which is also needed by hospitals.The Ballarat Donor Centre, in the Base Hospital, will be open on the public holiday, December 28, between 9.30am-1pm.For more information or to book an appointment call 13 14 95 or visit www.donateblood南京夜网.au.
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