The blood is pumping throughout Othello and a few local groups want to use some of it to help people in need. Two separate blood drives next week will allow local people to give a little bit of themselves to make a big difference. About one pint of blood is collected from each donor. Each donation can go to saving up to three peoples' lives. Throughout the month of January, the American Red Cross celebrates the contributions of thousands of volunteer blood donors in Washington who give the gift of life with every blood donation. The Othello Lions Club will sponsor a community blood drive Jan. 29 from 1 to 6 p.m. at 640 E. Elm St. There will also be a blood drive at the Othello Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 611 S. Seventh St., from 1 to 6 p.m. Jan. 31. January has been designated National Blood Donor Month to raise awareness of blood donation during the time of year when blood supplies often fall to their lowest levels. Donations traditionally decline during the post-holiday season, due to busy schedules and inclement weather, which can prevent people from keeping donation appointments. At the same time, the need for blood remains constant in the early months of the year. Giving blood is a way to support the community by ensuring a stable inventory is available for premature babies, cancer patients or the many people who suffer accidents and other illnesses, which may require transfusions. National Blood Donor Month not only honors those who give blood each year, it is also a time to educate and encourage new donors about the importance of giving blood. Blood has a shelf life of only 42 days and, therefore, must continually be replenished. Donors can give blood every 56 days, or up to six times a year. This year, you can make a difference. All it takes is your willingness to help someone in need and a pint of your blood. Any healthy person age 18 (or age 16 with signed parental consent) or older and weighing at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate blood. Valid identification is required for all blood donations. Donors should maintain a healthy iron level in their diet, drink an extra 16 ounces of liquid before and after the donation, have a healthy meal and don't forget to bring identification. The donation takes about an hour. First, when you arrive, you will register with one of the volunteers. Then, there is a private and confidential interview about health history and places you've recently traveled. Donation itself takes between 8 and 10 minutes. Then, you have about 10 to 15 minutes where you sit, have a snack and a drink. After that, you can continue with your normal day-to-day activities. Hydrate an extra amount after your donation and avoid heavy lifting and exercise. The plasma from the donation is replaced within about 24 hours. The red blood cells take four to six weeks, which is why eight weeks are required between each donation. All eligible donors are asked to schedule an appointment to donate blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting redcrossblood.org.