The third of four blood drives hosted by the city of Santa Maria this year will be from noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 7 in the parking lot between the lawn bowling green and Paul Nelson Aquatics Center along South McClelland Street.

The public is invited to sign up and join city and county employees in donating blood to United Blood Services.

Donors will receive a free pint of Baskin-Robbins ice cream.

Here are 10 reasons to donate blood:

» Blood transfusions save lives.

» There is no substitute for human blood.

» The Santa Maria Valley needs 160 pints of blood every day.

» About 60 percent of the population is eligible to donate, yet less than 5 percent do.

» One pint of blood, separated into components, can help up to three people.

» Donors receive a free blood pressure checkup.

» It’s convenient.

» Donors will learn their blood type.

» Free cookies.

» It’s safe.

To sign up as a donor with a reserved time, call the city’s blood drive coordinator, Mark van de Kamp, at 805.925.0951, ext. 372.

Mark van de Kamp is a management analyst in the Santa Maria city manager’s office.