The demand for blood or blood products does not take a summer vacation, even if blood donors do.

For this reason, it is the optimal time to host a blood drive or donate blood with Carter BloodCare. Hospitals full of patients depend on blood donations — even while most others enjoy summer fun. Blood donors help ensure chemotherapy patients receive platelets they require, red cells get to heart surgery patients, and, when a lifesaving donor organ arrives, that blood is available.

Midlothian Battle of the Badges is hosting a blood drive from 9 a.m. — 4 p.m. Saturday, June 16 at 2010 FM 663 in the shopping center parking lot on the Carter BloodCare bus behind Chick-Fil-A.

For more information or to schedule an appointment time, contact Phillip Brancato at (972) 775-7663 or Scott Hughes at (972) 775-3333 or Robin Schumaker at (628) 206-8949.

"Volunteer blood donors are the foundation of any robust healthcare community. There is no substitute for human blood. A diverse blood donor group supports a safe and sufficient blood supply that mirrors a diverse population of potential patients," a Carter BloodCare press release stated. "If each eligible blood donor gave two or three times a year, there would seldom be a shortage of blood or specific blood types. Carter BloodCare prefers to see 1,000 blood donors daily to keep pace with demand."

The release reminds donors to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water one to two hours before giving blood. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, feel well on the day of donation, and present a government-issued photo ID each time they give blood.

Potential blood donors may volunteer as early as age 16 with parental consent, while 17-year-olds may donate independently, and there is no upper age limit for donating blood. For more information on donor eligibility and to make an appointment, call 1-800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.