THUMBS UP: Blood donors
The importance of blood donations may be difficult to appreciate unless you or a loved one has been the recipient of an emergency blood transfusion when life was hanging in the balance.
Yet every day, the need for blood donations is great. An American Red Cross official told The Herald that the organization sees a decline in donations in July and August, during a time when many are taking summer vacations.
"The shortfall is significant enough that the Red Cross could experience an emergency situation in the next few weeks," says Red Cross spokeswoman Natividad Lewis.
Thankfully, numerous blood drives are planned in the area in upcoming weeks. The Red Cross will hold drives on Aug. 7 at Sanford Church of God, Aug. 8 at Belk, Aug. 12 at First Baptist Church and Aug. 12 at Goldston Baptist Church. In addition, the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas will hold a drive July 31 at Central Carolina Hospital.
Take time to give this much-needed gift of life.
THUMBS UP: Jonesboro Heights Baptist
Our nation is only as strong as the military men and women — both past and present — who have so ably answered its call in times of war and peace.
Only those who have served can know the real value of military sacrifice. And only those who have put country before self can truly appreciate what it is like to return to civilian life (an often difficult transition) after serving on home soil or abroad.
It's unimaginable what would become of America without these brave souls, many of whom have lost comrades in the midst of combat.
As we live so close to Fort Bragg, a great number of military members and their families live in our local communities. They shop in our stores. Their children attend our schools. They worship in our churches.
We should embrace their presence and welcome them with open arms.
This summer, Jonesboro Heights Baptist Church is doing just that by holding three Military Prayer Breakfasts.
We all need prayer — but especially these men and women to whom we owe so much. Jonesboro Heights deserves a salute itself for the love, support and appreciation it is showing to the bravest among us.
THUMBS UP: A brief reprieve
It's summer in North Carolina, so it's typically a time of extremes. It's a time of "too" — too hot, too wet or too dry are common parts of our dialogue.
This summer, though, Mother Nature has given us more balance. We've had hot, humid stretches, for sure. And we flirted with lawns turning from green to brown. But recent rains and days with highs staying in the 80s have been a nice reprieve.
Although today's heat index may top 100, a frontal system moving in this week will give us high temperatures in the low to mid 80s in the coming days, well below normal. Our morning lows will drop to near 60 degrees, almost 20 degrees lower than this morning's lows.
So enjoy the break while it lasts.