DAYTON — Giving blood was essential to the public health during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and it is essential to give blood again during the July 4 holiday period. Community Blood Center is calling on “essential heroes” to donate and will honor all essential workers with the “We Are Essential Heroes Blood Drive” Friday, June 26 through Friday, July 3 at the Dayton CBC Donation Center, 349 S. Main St.

Donors must make an appointment and wear a face mask. Appointments can be scheduled at or by calling 937-461-3220.

The “We are Essential Heroes Blood Drive” honors those who heroically gave blood during the COVID-19 lockdown and honors all front-line workers in healthcare, public safety, grocery stores, pharmacies, and charities who risked their health for the public good.

Everyone who registers to donate during the “Essential Heroes” blood drive is welcome to nominate an essential worker who helped keep the community safer and stronger during the worst days of the pandemic. The nominations will be entered in a drawing for a $200 Kroger gift card.

Blood donations are in high demand as hospitals return to pre-COVID-19 usage and the blood supply faces the traditional summer holiday challenges of vacation travel, no high school blood drives, and increases in accidents and trauma cases.

CBC’s “Wake Up & Donate Blood Drive” is underway to encourage summer donating. Everyone who registers to donate May 4 through Oct. 31 is automatically entered in the grand prize drawing for a custom-comfort Sleep Number bed.