Blood drive on way to set records

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Hundreds turned out at the Rushmore Mall to give life-saving donations.

A Vitalant employee tends to a donor giving blood at the 6th annual Community Heroes Blood Drive at the Rushmore Mall Saturday. Photo Date: Jan. 5, 2019.

A donor gives blood at the Community Heroes Blood Drive Saturday.

Vitalant hosted its 6th annual Community Heroes Blood Drive at the mall Friday and Saturday.

The busy holiday season often sees lower blood donations, resulting in shortages at blood banks around the country at the beginning of the year.

Blood drives like this one are critical to keeping adequate blood supplies, and according to Vitalant Donor Recruitment Representative Tori Robbins, this year’s donors have stepped up as never before.

“Our goal is always to collect more blood than we did last year, no matter what blood drive we’re in,” Robbins said. “We collected 202 units last year, so, I am always saying that our goal is at least 203 this year. We’re on pace to beat that.”

Friday saw 123 donors, who gave 119 units of blood. Saturday afternoon, the blood drive had already seen near 100 donors.

Vitalant’s next public blood drive will be the Drops of Life Blood Drive, which will be held in April.

But blood is needed all year round, and donors can give blood at any time of the year. To learn more about Vitalant’s blood services and about upcoming blood drives, visit bloodhero.com.

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