OneBlood of Tallahassee and Southwest Georgia encourages people to donate blood. Pat Michaels, OneBlood spokesman, said the nonprofit blood bank recently held a month-long blood drive, but hospitals are still in desperate need of more blood supplies.
Michaels said in the beginning of the year there is always a high demand for blood donations. He added that people are often not as giving at the beginning of the year.
“There is usually a slump in donations due to vacation time,” Michaels said.
Michaels said the organization will be using the OneBlood Big Red Bus to hold multiple blood drives across North Florida and Southwest Georgia during the next few weeks. The bus serves as a mobile donation center for the organization.
Kenneth Peterson, who works at a local Publix, said he decided to donate blood because the bus made it convenient.
“It was right next to my car. I'm on my way home so I have some time,” Peterson said. “I understand blood is a life-saving gift. Somebody's going to use this blood to help them have a better life.”
Local resident Megan Camb said she has been donating blood for 14 years. Like Peterson, Camb believes the bus makes it more convenient for her to donate.
“I got the text that there was going to be a bus in my area, so I figured I’d just pop on over,” Camb said.
The nonprofit blood bank offers small gifts such as gift cards or blankets to donors. Michaels said the gifts are meant to thank donors for their community service. However, Camb said everyone who is able to give blood should do so regardless of the gifts.
“You're not doing it for the free stuff, the blankets (or) the t-shirts,” Camb said. “You're doing it to save people's lives.”
Camb believes life threatening accidents that require the use of blood donations could occur at any time. She hopes people will be more apt to donate blood.
“What if it was you,” Camb asked. “What if you were at an underfunded community hospital and they ran out of your blood type? How would you feel if it was you or your child who needed the the blood?”
OneBlood advises people to check their website at oneblood.org to find locations the blood bus will be visiting and more information on upcoming blood drives.