Members of Sikh community heal from tragedy by donating blood

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BROOKFIELD (WITI) -- The BloodCenter of Wisconsin says blood donations are down -- and the harsh winter is to blame. The BloodCenter is working to restock its supply, and on Sunday, April 13th, the BloodCenter got some help from members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, who are working to heal from tragedy by helping others.

Members of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin boarded a bus on Sunday morning for a good cause.

"I'm happy that I donated blood today. When you see accidents happen, it makes you think 'why not?' If I can do something -- even if it like, a small benefit towards society, why not do it?" Sikh Temple of Wisconsin member Hemant Luthra said.

Dr. Gurcharan Singh Grewal, president of the Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin in Brookfield coordinated the blood drive.

"It's the best gift you can give somebody, people in need. Even if you can save one life, it's worth it," Grewal said.

Grewal says members of the Sikh community are committed to helping others -- especially after dealing with a tragic shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek in August of 2012.

"So many people, when they got shot, needed the blood transfusion and all that. Some lives were saved that day. We are hoping to give back to that community and do the same thing for some other person in need," Grewal said.

This is the Sikh community's fourth blood drive in the last two years.

Sunday appointment slots were full, and Don Kuhl with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin says more active participants like this are needed.

"We need to see between 750-800 donors a day. The direct need that is met from a unit of blood can be up to three people. When someone donates, they are giving us the opportunity to do all kinds of things -- diagnostic laboratory testing, research and this affects maybe hundreds of people down the line," Kuhl said.

If you'd like to help, you can donate at any of the BloodCenter of Wisconsin's 11 locations, at a mobile operation or by hosting a blood drive of your own.

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