The Bloomington-Normal community is hosting its 15th Annual Badges for Life Blood Donation Campaign this week.
Monday, the Bloomington-Normal law enforcement and fire departments united with the American Red Cross and local radio stations in an effort to find donors to give blood during the six blood drives being held throughout the week.
By donating blood, residents of the area will show their support for this cause and for their local heroes.
“Every two seconds, someone in America needs a blood transfusion. Blood can be used for trauma victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, cancer patients and more,” Ben Corey, Program Manager of the American Red Cross, said.
“The one hour it takes to donate blood may help save three lives. It’s a simple way to have a major impact in your local community,” he added.
“After you donate blood, you leave with the knowledge that you are helping ensure lifesaving blood products are available wherever and whenever they are needed.”
The community of Bloomington-Normal has donated more than 3,100 pints of blood for hospital patients in need during the past 14 years of the campaign, according to redcross.org.
“The campaign is a great way to partner with local heroes and help save lives in central Illinois and across the country,” Corey said.
The summer months can be a difficult time to collect enough blood donations to keep pace with patient needs, he added, especially around Labor Day, and right now there is an urgent need for types O negative, A negative and B negative blood.
“Blood donation is vital for the health of many people. A unit of blood can be divided into different components, so that patients who have a variety of illnesses or injuries can be treated,” Dr. Jean Swearingen, Medical Director of Student Health Services, said.
Most of us know at least one person, probably even within our families, that have had their lives saved because someone donated blood, she said.
Donors need to be at least 17 years old (or 16 years old with a signed Red Cross parental or guardian consent form). Volunteers need to weigh at least 110 pounds and generally be in good health in order to donate. All of those who give blood will receive a Red Cross T-shirt and pizza from Monical’s. They will also be entered to win one in five $1,000 American Express gift cards.
The importance of donating blood is certainly in high demand, and those who are eligible should definitely consider giving back.
The American Red Cross is a non-profit organization that relies on volunteers to carry out its duty. It is devoted to supplying approximately 40 percent of the United States’ blood and to teaching skills that will help to save lives.
Those interested in donating or who want more information should make an appointment to become a donor at one of the blood drives and call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit their website, redcrossblood.org.
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