United Blood Services of San Angelo, the blood bank that provides Brownwood Regional Medical Center with blood products, is holding two drives in Brownwood Thursday. If it seems the bloodmobile has been here frequently in recent weeks, thatís because the need is great.

Many factors work against maintaining an adequate blood supply for medical purposes. Vacations take regular donors away. The heat keeps many people at home. And recreational accidents and elective surgeries boost the call for blood units.

Everyone who is eligible to donate blood should consider doing so. Usually, the entire process, including the interview process and the donation, takes no more than an hour. The gift you give is priceless. And consider this: the time may come when you need blood, and such actions by others will mean it is there when your life depends on it.

The blood drives Thursday will be held at the Outpatient Center classrooms in Brownwood Regional Medical Center from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., and at the Brownwood Police Department parking lot (find the bloodmobile) from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Appointments may be made by calling (800) 756-0024 or at www.bloodhero.com.

Brownwood Bulletin