LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Hospital’s Blood Donor Center offers a sweet treat for blood donors in a Valentine’s Day tradition: free pies.

The first 20 donors today and Thursday may receive an apple or cherry pie as part of the holiday incentive program.

“We celebrate Valentine’s Day by encouraging people to give blood, one of the most loving gifts to give because of how many lives can be saved,” Antelope Valley Hospital Blood Services Coordinator Ellen Gaines said. “Our area has an urgent need for blood, and Pies for Pints helps our fellow Antelope Valley residents recognize the importance of donating blood that stays here in the community.”

All blood collected at the center is used for patients at the hospital.

All donors receive a free cholesterol test.

It takes about five to 10 minutes to donate a pint of blood, although the entire process takes about an hour to complete, officials said.

The AVH Blood Donor Center is located on the hospital’s campus in the Antelope Valley Outpatient Imaging Center building located at 44105 15th Street West, Suite 305, at the intersection of 15th Street West and Avenue J-5. The center is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m., and the first and third Saturdays of each month from 8 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Walk-ins are welcome, or donors can make an appointment by calling 661-949-5622.

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