By donating blood, you'll be taking the opportunity to help someone down the street, one state away, or even across the country. The American Red Cross is offering you a chance to help save up to three lives with your next blood donation. All presenting donors in February 2010 will be eligible to win a three-day Carnival Cruise.

The American Red Cross will hold blood drives in Carbon County on the following days:

* Thursday, Feb. 11, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Palmerton Borough Hall, 443 Delaware Ave., Palmerton. Refreshment sponsor is East Penn Bank, 372 Delaware Ave., Palmerton.

* Thursday, Feb. 25, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Zion United Church of Christ, 225 Iron and Second streets, Lehighton.

To donate blood and platelets through the American Red Cross, individuals must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 lbs. and be in general good health. In Pennsylvania, 16-year-olds may donate blood provided they bring a signed parental consent form to the blood drive. Parental consent forms can be obtained from local high schools before the blood drives or directly from nursing supervisors at Red Cross drives. High school students and donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements. Participants should bring their Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when they come to donate.

The American Red Cross holds blood drives in communities seven days a week. Call 1 (800) 432-8045 to schedule an appointment to donate or visit to find a blood drive near you.