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The Big Red Bus is coming

March 16, 2023
By Boca Grande Health Clinic

Donating blood saves lives. We all intrinsically know this. Yet, according to the American Red Cross, less than 3 percent of age-eligible people donate blood annually.

The Boca Grande Health Clinic is sponsoring a blood donation event on Thursday, April 6, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Big Red Bus® will be parked on Park Avenue, next to the Clinic. 

Am I eligible to donate?

Most likely, yes. As long as you are in good health, there is no age limit for donating blood. You must be at least 16 years old (with signed parental consent) to donate; 17 years old or older do not require parental consent. Photo identification is required.

Ready to donate?

We are looking for at least 50 people to donate during the April 6 event. The Big Red Bus can accommodate approximately 8 to 9 donors, with 4 donating at a time. 

Appointments are encouraged. 

Walk-ins are welcome and will be accommodated as donor chairs become available. Schedule an appointment here:

Get ready to give blood

Unlike when you go in for blood tests, fasting before donating blood is NOT needed – or recommended. Here are the top 3 things you should do before donating:

1. Eat a healthy well-balanced diet with good sources of iron a few days prior to your donation.

2. Drink plenty of water.

3. Bring your Identification (Driver’s license or picture ID)

Find out more about preparing here:

Fun facts about blood

• Every two seconds of every day, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

• There are eight different blood types, with each one holding unique characteristics to save lives.

• The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O. About 45 percent of people in the U.S. have Group O (positive or negative) blood; the proportion is higher among Hispanics (57 percent) and African Americans (51 percent).

• Only 7 percent of people in the U.S. are type O negative, so it’s always in great demand and often in short supply.

• Blood only has a shelf life of 42 days.

• The Big Red Bus® is run by the nonprofit organization OneBlood. Find out more at