DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) – Jeanne Weber has been donating blood for over 20 years.
“A long time ago I was just asked to donate at one of the churches and then after that they called me,” Weber said. “And then I started donating every eight weeks.”
Weber said she does this because she is retired, but also to help those in need.
“I only have time and it’s something I like to give back,” said Weber. “It’s great to give back to your community.”
However, unlike Weber, few people showed up to donate blood this year. Jason Schomburg, associate donor relations consultant for ImpactLife, said summer is often a slow time for giving. This year, however, is even worse.
“We actually hit our lowest number of donors in 15 months recently,” Schomburg said. “People are going out, they’re enjoying the atmosphere and they kind of forget that this need is still here and, in an emergency, it’s the blood on the shelf; that’s what we need today. ”
The COVID-19 pandemic also played a role in this, as many blood donations were canceled because of it.
Schomburg said ImpactLife serves about 120 hospitals in eastern Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and even Missouri.
“There are many hospitals we serve here in our area and we want to make sure our friends and neighbors are taken care of,” Schomburg said.
ImpactLife organized several blood campaigns on Monday to commemorate World Blood Donor Day and to encourage people to take the time to donate.
“Maybe it’s about an hour of your time and you can affect the lives of three people with a whole blood donation,” Schomburg said. “And if you think about it, it’s just the three people who get it, now think about those families and you could be giving people another meal with their families, another holiday and all the good stuff. You’re actually giving someone another chance at life by doing something that’s really that simple. ”
Schomburg said ImpactLife is trying a variety of things to encourage people to donate. They are currently handing out $10 gift cards to those who take the time to donate blood. They’re also trying to encourage teens to do that, so they created a program called the Impact Award: high school students who donate a gallon of blood before graduation will receive a red string to wear with their cap and apron, if the school allows it and also will receive a certificate recognizing the achievement.
People interested in making a blood donation or donating blood should visit ImpactLifeFor more information.
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