The gift of life provides another gift for kids in Charlotte-are - | WBTV Charlotte

The gift of life provides another gift for kids in Charlotte-area hospitals

(Photo courtesy Kevin McCarthy) (Photo courtesy Kevin McCarthy)

There were plenty of smiles Friday morning at Levine Children’s Hospital as The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas delivered stuffed animals to kids at their annual Puppies for Patients Program.

The event is a chance to bring some holiday cheer and well wishes to children at regional hospital and care facilities who are fighting some pretty tough battles.

Here’s how the program works - people who donate blood during the months of November and December sign a gift tag that is then attached to a stuffed puppy. The program runs through December 31.

In the last 11 years, the CBCC has handed out thousands of these stuffed animals cheering up thousands of precious kids!

“Our staff, donors, supporters and community partners look forward to Puppies for Patients each year,” said Martin Grable, president and CEO of CBCC. “We encourage everyone to get involved; giving the gift of life through blood donation and bringing smiles to children in our local hospitals. A priceless gift anytime, but never more so than during the holidays.”

The CBCC is a non-profit and is the main blood supplier to all our region’s hospitals. The CBCC says one local children’s hospital requires nearly 300 units of red blood cells and more than 200 units of platelets every month.

“Our donors are the local blood supply, and of course we could not do meet local patient needs without them,” Grable said. “By having donors sign the tags attached to the puppies, we are creating a connection between donors and patients, a remarkably rewarding experience for everyone involved. I believe it’s the best gift anyone can give this holiday season.”

If you are in good health, over 16 years old, and weigh at least 120 pounds, you are eligible to donate blood. The CBCC encourages youth groups, businesses, churches and schools to consider hosting a blood drive.

For more information on how you can host a drive or donate blood, visit or call 704-972-4700.

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