With the busy Memorial Day weekend approaching, United Blood Services is asking eligible donors to give either before the holiday or their summer vacation to ensure a steady and ample supply.

Blood demands, beginning with the Memorial Day weekend, can often increase as more people take vacations, travel and other accidents occur. This weekend marks the beginning of summer for the Blood Bank, when donations often decrease just as the demand becomes less predictable. To keep a ready supply, United Blood Services is asking eligible donors to remember to give during the summer vacation season.

Donations may be made at the UBS Center Santa Barbara, 902 Laguna St., at the corner of Cañon Perdido, or any of a number of community blood drives happening throughout Santa Barbara County. Donors are asked to make an appointment by contacting United Blood Services at 805.965.7037 or toll-free at 1.800.715.3699. Donors also can click here to schedule an appointment online by clicking on “Donate Blood” and typing in your ZIP code to find a list of drives nearby.

Appointments are appreciated, but not necessary. Walk-ins are also welcome, and will be honored as our appointment schedule allows.

You may donate blood if you are over age 16, weigh at least 110 pounds and are in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger.

Santa Barbara Center hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. Pizza is served from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday. The facility is closed Monday, May 30, for Memorial Day.

Click here for more information on United Blood Services.

— Janna Nichols is a marketing and communications specialist at United Blood Services.