Last week we kicked off “Giving Back” with The Commercial Appeal. This week let us spotlight Lifeblood and their current weeklong event, Donor Fest 2013.
Lifeblood is the area’s leading provider of blood and blood components to area hospitals, supplying more than 100,000 units for local patient transfusions each year. As the second largest medical center per capita in the United States, the need for blood in the Mid-South is constant. It is estimated that 90 percent of us will need blood before age 70, but less than 10 percent of the general population actually donates it. In the Mid-South that number is only 3 percent.
We, therefore, import over one-third of our blood supply from other centers throughout the country. This puts our citizens at risk with emergency reserve shortages, increased costs, and weakened sustainability. Lifeblood’s goal is to eliminate our dependence on other communities. Through five neighborhood donor centers and countless mobile blood drives, the organization makes it easy to donate blood throughout the year. Since every donation can save up to three lives, now is the perfect time to give.
This week, Lifeblood is hosting Donor Fest 2013, aimed at increasing blood donations during the summer. The goal is to collect 1,963 donors, which commemorates Lifeblood’s 50 years of service and will help save almost 6,000 lives.
Donating blood is quick, rewarding, and fun, especially if you bring friends and family. Just imagine how you are helping children at the hospital, bravely going through surgeries, or a loved one, undergoing chemotherapy for cancer and in desperate need of a transfusion. Your blood serves local hospitals and patients, who might be friends or neighbors.
Donations can be made at any of Lifeblood’s donor centers, which will stay open extended hours this week. Donor Fest culminates with a free public celebration on Saturday, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. at Audubon Park (Park Avenue and Goodlett Street). The celebration includes food, music, magic shows, balloon animals, face painting, kids activities, donor recognition and more.
Visit lifeblood.org or call 1-888-LIFEBLOOD for more details or donor center locations and hours.