East donates their time to blood drive

Jonathan Dumois

Amid a nationwide shortage for blood, the Rock River Valley Blood Center will host a blood drive at East in an effort to increase the blood supply in the area.

The RRVBC will be at East on April 14 between the hours of 8:30am to 2:30pm, and will allow students and staff to donate blood without leaving campus. To donate, you must be at least 17 years old, although 16 year olds can donate with parental consent. You must also weigh 110 pounds, and if you are a prior donor, you must be eight weeks past your previous donation. First time donors must bring a Photo ID with them at the time of donating. In addition, it is recommended that you eat a meal at least four hours prior to the donation.

It comes at a time where hospitals around the world, including the Rockford region, are experiencing a nationwide blood shortage. The American Red Cross said that they are facing its worst blood shortage in over a decade, saying that in many areas, the blood supply given to local hospitals are less than a day old. The American Red Cross has said that there has also been a drop in school blood drives, and that in 2019 students made up 25% of donors.

To help boost student participation, the RRVBC has partnered with area schools for its second annual “Unite to Save Lives” challenge, initiated last year to increase student donations at a time where school blood drives have been cancelled. The challenge, which was created by Guilford’s Health Academy, runs from Feb. 1 to May 21 at all RRVBC locations and at mobile blood drives, including at East. A trophy will be given to the school with the most donors, along with bragging rights. Freeport came out on top last year with the most donations in the challenge. A list of the Top 10 schools participating provided to the Highlights did not list East.

If you wish to donate blood before or after the blood drive, you can make an appointment via the blood center’s website at rrvbc.org, the myRRVBC app, calling 815-965-8751 or via walk-in during regular business hours at any of the RRVBC’s four locations. All blood donations made, regardless of location, still count towards the campaign so long as you mention that you are with East.