Reporter Carol Zinke rolls up her sleeve giving one pint of blood

LEWISTON, ID - There's a shortage of blood in our area. That's why leaders from the Inland Northwest Blood Center say they need your help this summer.

Carol Zinke donated her first pint of blood Thursday and has this report.

The center is the only supplier of blood to hospitals in the valley and Moscow Pullman area. More than 30% of their blood supply comes from high school and college students. So, when students are out of school blood donations are low.

"The summer is the hardest time for us," said INBC Assistant Manager Gretchen Kramer. "So we really need local community members to come out, support us, roll-up their sleeve and give blood."

Donating takes only 45-minutes, from the time you walk in the door to the time you leave. One blood donation can save up to three lives."

In fact, someone needs blood every two seconds and there's no substitute for it. After you've donated blood once, the next time you go in your donation will only take seven to ten minutes.

"So it's a great thing to do on your lunch break," said Kramer. "We just want you to keep in mind, with the heat and high temperatures, it's important to drink lots of fluids and stay hydrated. That's a big factor in determining whether or not you can donate."

Only 37% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood and less than 10-percent donate each year.

Kramer said you can come in or call the center any time and the staff will help you out. And when you donate, not only can you save up to three lives, but you'll get a free t-shirt and you'll be entered in to win a one-year lease for a BMW.

You have to be 16-years-old to donate, and weigh at least 120-pounds. There are blood centers in Lewiston, Moscow and Pullman. INBC Link: