OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahomans have the opportunity to give the gift of life while also raising money to help the people of Ukraine.

The Oklahoma Blood Institute will hold the blood drive from Thursday, March 24 through March 31.

OBI will make a $10 donation to the Global Blood Fund, a charity supporting Ukrainian blood banks, for each donor who foregoes receiving a T-shirt for their donation.

“The Global Blood Fund is designed to help blood banks throughout the world,” said Dr. John Armitage, president and CEO of Oklahoma Blood Institute. “Any way we can help our fellow blood centers, especially in times of crisis, we jump at the opportunity to help those in need. Our loyal donors are heroes who help save lives and this is a chance to make an impact globally.”

Ukrainian emergency employees and volunteers carry an injured pregnant woman from a maternity hospital that was damaged by shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka, File)

Each donor who foregoes the shirt in support of Ukraine will receive a Support Ukraine Global Blood Fund card and a “Support Ukraine” blood donor sticker.

OBI officials said the Russian invasion is impacting all aspects of Ukrainian society, including blood banks. A Ukrainian blood center was hit by artillery shelling last week, killing a blood donor and wounding three others.

Anyone who is healthy and at least 16 years old can donate blood.

Appointments to donate can be made online at obi.org or by calling (877) 340-8777. Blood donation usually last about an hour. One donation saves up to three lives.

Oklahoma Blood Institute, a local, non-profit blood supplier, provides blood for patients in more than 160 hospitals, medical facilities and air ambulances statewide.