Central Christian Church will be host to an American Red Cross blood drive from noon to 6 p.m. March 2.

American Red Cross logoThis blood drive is one of many held in Arkansas City that is organized by the local Kiwanis Club.

There currently is a critical shortage of blood, partially due to illnesses this season. To make an appointment to give, call (800) 733-2767.

Potential blood donors must be at least 17 years old — or 16 with parental consent — and weigh at least 110 pounds. They also must be in good health and feeling well at the time of donation. Donors must provide two forms of identification before donating.

To prepare for a blood donation, be sure to drink plenty of fluids on the day of the donation.

Wear something comfortable to the appointment and make sure the sleeves of your clothing can be rolled up easily above the elbow.

If possible, include iron-rich foods in your diet in the weeks prior to a donation. Remember to hydrate before and after giving blood.

Bring a list of the medications you are taking — some prescriptions might disqualify you from giving blood — as well as your donor card and driver’s license to the appointment.

Central Christian Church is located at 206 W. Central Ave. in Arkansas City.