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Statewide blood drive starts Monday to honor those who died in traffic accidents

FILE - Blood drive

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCIV) -- Families of Highway Fatalities and the American Red Cross are asking South Carolinians to remember died on South Carolina highways by giving blood this week.

In South Carolina, at least 800 lives are claimed each year by traffic collisions.

Donors can give blood from Monday, Dec. 28 to Thursday, Dec. 31 at five Red Cross donation centers in Charleston, Columbia, Florence and Myrtle Beach.

People who donate will get a Red Cross shirt.

"Families of Highway Fatalities, an organization dedicated to providing resources for families who have lost loved ones in traffic collisions, has partnered with the Red Cross on blood drives for several years," said Phil Riley, Director of the SCDPS Office of Highway Safety and Justice Programs.

"The blood drives offer members an opportunity to remember their loved ones, while also raising awareness of the need for blood donations."

Red Cross officials say the period between Christmas and New Year's Day is an especially critical time for the Red Cross, as holiday festivities and travel can keep donors from giving blood.

But the need for blood is constant, they said.

Traci Wolfe of Chapin will honor her son, Kenny, through the blood drive. Kenny died in 2007 at age 18 in a car crash. The family keeps his memory alive through the Kenny Wolfe Foundation, which raises awareness about teen fatalities in collisions, and by encouraging others to give blood in his name.

"By giving blood in Kenny's memory, it's almost like Kenny is still here and still sharing," Wolfe said said.

Donors can make appointments to give blood and platelets at five locations:

Columbia Blood Donation Center at 2751 Bull St., Columbia

Mount Pleasant Blood Donation Center at 920 Houston Northcutt Blvd., Mount Pleasant

West Ashley Blood Donation Center at 2000 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Charleston

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