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The American Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types to give now and save lives. For the past two months, blood donations have fallen short of expectations, resulting in approximately 61,000 fewer donations than needed. Schedule your blood donation appointment by using the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). You can help save a life by donating blood during one of the following American Red Cross blood donation opportunities: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. today, at USC Sumter Arts Building, 109 Miller Road; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, July 21, at Eaton, 11 Corporate Way; and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, Central Carolina Technical College, 506 N. Guignard Drive.

Summer Movies at the Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St., will offer the following movies at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the following Thursdays: July 20 - "The Jungle Book," July 27 - "Nine Lives" and Aug. 3 - "The Lego Batman Movie;" and the following movies at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. on the following Fridays: July 21 - "Ghostbusters" and Aug. 18 - "Sixteen Candles." Admission is $1, and popcorn and water are available for $1 each. Call (803) 436-2616 for information.

A back-to-school bash / meet and greet the nurse with a cookout and free gifts will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, at the South Sumter Resource Center park, 337 Manning Ave., for clients of James R. Clark Memorial Sickle Cell Foundation and their family members. Call Bertha Willis at (803) 840-3042.

The VFW and VFW 10813 Auxiliary announce the following to be held at the post home, 610 Manning Ave.: 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, meeting; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, July 22, a fish and chips and pulled pork / barbecue sandwich sale; and 5-9 p.m. Sunday, July 23, a wine and cheese sip, requested donation of $7 at the door. The community is invited.

The Carolina Coin Club will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 18, at the Parks & Recreation Department building, 155 Haynsworth St. The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month and visitors are always welcome. Call (803) 775-8840 for more information.

The Sumter Branch NAACP will meet at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 23, at Bethel AME Church, 1605 S.C. 261 South, Wedgefield. The public is invited to attend.