January can be a typically slow month for blood donations because of the holidays, illness and winter weather. The month of January has been designated as National Blood Donor Month to encourage donors to give blood but there are some area residents who give blood regardless of the month and anytime it is feasible after the 45 day waiting period. Nobody knows the importance of donating blood better than 16-year-old Brennah Payne. Payne was just seven years old when she was involved in a head-on collision on Highway 99 February 12, 2005 and flown by helicopter to Lucile Packard Children's Hospital with a broken back and nine fractures on her face and nose. Payne spent six months there where she had 22 procedures, including nine major surgeries requiring at least nine blood transfusions of fresh frozen plasma and red blood cells. Payne devotes her time to educating others about the importance of donating and has appeared in advertisements for Stanford Blood Center. “Because of blood donors I have a life that I want it to be. I am able to do sports, spend time with my family. Please donate blood to save a life,” Payne tells people not only in Stanford's ads but also when she speaks to local service organizations such as Rotary where she encourages participation in upcoming blood drives whether they are at Gridley High School under the Leadership Class or Blood Source Blood Drives at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which will be held Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Testimonials can be seen of Payne at www.youtube.com. Martha Wright has been donating blood for over 20 years because she knows how important it is for others. She received her 10 gallon pin two years ago and tries to never miss donating when the blood drive is here. The only time she has missed is when her iron count was not high enough, which has only been a couple of times in the past five or six years. “It needs to be done for those who need blood,” Wright stated. Wright stated she has had family members in accidents years back who needed blood donations and she has seen first hand how donating blood saves lives – something she wants to continue to do as long as she can. LeRoy Smith has donated blood since he was 17 years old. He has donated nearly 19 gallons and been awarded numerous pins for his donations over the years. He and his wife Udell each received trophy that is shaped like a blood drop and is red. Smith's blood is a rare type which means he is called when BloodSource AB negative. If you would like to help those who need blood, visit the next BloodSource Blood Drive April 29, 2014 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, starting at 2 p.m. Another local pro at donating blood is Robert Miller who has been donating since 1996 and is up to nearly 12 gallons. Miller began donating after speaking with LeRoy Smith and understanding the need of donating blood for others. He makes sure that he donates either in Yuba City, Gridley or Chico when his eight week wait is up. Two years ago Miller was given a pin honoring him for donating blood at a special dinner held for donors in Chico. He plans on donating for as long as he can to help make a difference in many peoples lives.