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Blood of the Martyrs Blood Drive January 18-April 4 honors memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

SAN BERNARDINO, CALIF. –LifeStream Blood Bank and the Blood of the Martyrs Committee honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by partnering to save lives January 18-April 4 during the 21st Annual Blood of the Martyrs Blood Drive.

Restrictions on gatherings have limited the number of sites available to give blood, but not the enthusiasm on the meaning of coming together to support a worthy community cause while honoring the slain civil rights leader.

“As has been the case in recent years, donations toward Blood of the Martyrs’ drives will be accepted beginning on the Federal holiday honoring Dr. King through April 4, coinciding with the anniversary of his death,” said Lois Carson, committee chairperson.

Events that in recent years hosted blood drives – the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace March, Victorville; the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Prayer Breakfast, Cal State San Bernardino; and the Black History Month Parade, Riverside – will not be held in 2021.

However, the committee encourages community residents to donate blood at all LifeStream donor centers (San Bernardino, Riverside, Ontario, Moreno Valley, Victorville, Murrieta, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage) during the designated period and give the code “RC26” to credit the initiative with the donation.

The first “mobile” Blood of the Martyrs drive is Sunday, Jan. 31 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 1640 Western Ave., San Bernardino.

All blood donors at all LifeStream locations January 18-February 28 receive a long-sleeved, “Count on Me” T-shirt.

Donor well-being is LifeStream’s #1 priority. Donors and staff are required to wear face coverings (face coverings with intake valves to filter outside air are not sufficient), and submit to temperature checks and verbal COVID-19 symptoms check before accessing donor waiting areas. LifeStream adheres to 6’ social distancing guidelines and has enhanced already strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Donors must be at least 15 years of age (15- and 16-year-olds require a signed parental consent form; the form is at LStream.org and at all drive locations), weigh at least 115 pounds and feel well. Appointments to donate blood are recommended and may be made at LStream.org or by calling 800-879-4484. Walk-ins are welcome.

Blood of the Martyrs’ participating community-based organizations include Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority; Ecclesia Community Church; Knights of Peter Claver- Ladies Auxiliary; Inland Empire Black Nurses; National Council of Negro Women; New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, San Bernardino; Sunrise Church. Banning; and St. Anthony Catholic Church, San Bernardino.

LifeStream is an independent, local blood center that provides blood products and services to more than 80 Southern California hospitals.

For more information, call 800-879-4484 or visit LStream.org.

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