MILWAUKEE — Blood donations decrease in summer months, when the need is often the greatest to treat accident victims and others in emergency situations. Summer can often mean higher numbers of traumas than at other times of the year – which makes the need for O negative blood all the more critical.
The Declaration for Donations Blood Drive aimed to meet the need on Monday, July 1 and Tuesday, July 2 at State Fair Park. Hoping to attract over 400 donors, the event provided each donor with a free ticket to State Fair — and the knowledge that their time is priceless.
Summer is the hardest time for blood donation organizations to find donors.
“A lot of the students that we collect blood from, from high school drives and college drives, obviously they’re out of school for the summer, so the need becomes greater,” said Maria, who works in volunteer services at Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin.
Maria explained that travel increases during the summer, meaning more people are faced with “accidents, surgeries and trauma situations.”
Donors at State Fair Park were eager and excited to help others, including Deanna.
“I’ve had to have blood transfusions in the past,” said Deanna. “I know how important it is to give back to the community to those who need it.”
As a former patient, she stresses the importance of donating blood.
“I think everyone who can should,” said Deanna. “Everyone here is wonderful and very helpful.”
Bob has been volunteering for two years, and he says he’s enjoyed his experience.
“I enjoy it,” said Bob. “Everyone who works here is nice, and 99.99 percent of the donors are nice!”
He says donating blood is a critical, selfless act.
“Blood supplies are very important,” said Bob. “A lot of these people who come in and donate are an answer to peoples’ prayers. They save lives.”
Harlow Millies, a 9-year-old leukemia patient from Hartland, showed her appreciation for the live-saving blood transfusions she’s received to fight cancer by giving donors personalized thank you cards.
“Blood donation is so important to so many people, and especially to kids like Harlow. We’re thanking donors and asking the community to donate blood, because it provides patients with the greatest gift of all — the gift of life,” says Harlow’s dad, Josh.
Over the years, Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin has collected more than 12,000 units of life-saving blood in partnership with State Fair Park — and those donations have touched countless lives.
Anyone 17 or older who is in general good health and meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to donate blood. Parental consent is required for 16-year-olds to donate. Appointments are preferred to ensure a quick, convenient donation, but walk-in donors are also welcome. The entire process takes about an hour. Donors should bring a photo ID that includes birth date.
To make an appointment, call 1-877-BE-A-HERO (1-877-232-4376) or visit versiti.org/bcw.