Blood donors have personal reasons why they donate
American Red Cross logo
Story by: Calun Reece
1ST INF. DIV. POST
Donating blood is a good way to support military services and give back to the community, said Jacquie Mack of Manhattan, station manager, Fort Riley's American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross hosted a blood drive Feb. 19 at the Warrior Transition Battalion clam shell, located on Main Post.
Donating blood is important because it saves lives, said Kristina Cook, military spouse, Warner Robins, Ga.
Cook frequently donates blood and has personally experienced the help of American Red Cross, she said.
"I've always donated, but when I was little, American Red Cross helped my Family out after a tornado hit us," Cook said.
The experience left a lasting impression on the significance of donating, she said.
"It could actually be your life that needs it one day," she said, "and, if there's no blood, then how do you expect your life to be saved?"
The goal for the blood drive was to have 68 participants donate. Donations fell short, Mack said, to about 39 for the one-day drive.
"That doesn't seem like a lot, but it is a start," she said, adding the Fort Riley team is grateful for the participants that do come to support the organization.
"People are always looking for opportunities to help," Mack said, "and, we appreciate them when they do come out to help us."
Statewide, the organization must collect 500 units a day to provide the amount needed to supply hospitals in Kansas.
The blood collected will go toward supporting about 100 hospitals in the state of Kansas, including Irwin Army Community Hospital.
Jason Willits, Army Reservist, National Guard, just returned from serving overseas. He later received a phone call from the Red Cross about donating blood.
"They had asked if I would schedule an appointment, and I said, 'OK,'" he said. "Why not? I've got plenty of blood."
Donating only takes an hour out of the day, and that is a positive thing, said Julie Fischer, donor recruitment representative, Donor Resource Development, American Red Cross.
"Each donation saves up to three lives," she said.
For more information about local blood drives or to volunteer, call 785-239-1887.
Information also can be found at www.Redcrossblood.org or by calling the red cross at 1-800-REDCROSS.