The luck of the Irish will be in full swing for blood donors who visit any one of LifeSource's 17 community donor centers, fixed sites or select mobile drives from March 9-17.

As a show of gratitude, LifeSource will provide donors with a limited edition St. Patrick's Day-themed "Give a Pint" T-shirt, while supplies last.

The entire donation process takes less than one hour and helps support up to three lives. It takes hundreds of blood donations every day to meet the needs of patients in area hospitals.

Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent do so annually. Volunteer donors provide all blood used for transfusion in the United States.

"'Our Give a Pint' T-shirts are back just in time to celebrate St. Patrick's Day in Chicago," says LifeSource Regional Director Eva Quinley. "Without our generous donors, we would be unable to meet the needs of our hospital partners and patients in need of transfusions. This is a fun way to give back to our donors."

The blood donation process takes about an hour and is both safe and comfortable. Proper ID is required to donate blood.

A LifeSource or military ID, driver's license or employee badge with a picture and full name are all approved forms of ID. A birth certificate along with a picture ID that includes the donor's full name will also be accepted.

Appointments are suggested but walk-ins are always welcome. Donors must be at least 18 years old (16 and 17 years of age with parental consent).

In preparation for their donation, donors are asked to eat well, stay hydrated and arrive with proper identification.

For more information including additional donor eligibility and qualifications, or to schedule an appointment, visit or call (877) 543-3768.

Some of the local community donor centers are located in: Arlington Heights: 25 W. Rand Road, Arlington Annex Shopping Center; Crystal Lake: 5150 Northwest Hwy.; Glenview: 2510 Waukegan Road; Gurnee: 5250-1 Grand Ave.; Lake Bluff: 223 Waukegan Road, Carriage Way Plaza; Naperville: 2764 Aurora Ave.; First United Methodist Church, 324 N. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park; Schaumburg: 211 W. Golf Road; Villa Park: 100 E. Roosevelt Road, Suite 40-41; and Westmont: 1133 Fairview Ave.

Walk-ins are welcome at any of the locations.