Honoring Heroes Blood Drive boosts local blood donations

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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) — Eyewitness News, The American Red Cross, and Honor Flight of Southern Indiana came together on Monday for the ABC25 Honoring Heroes Blood Drive.

The American Red Cross is celebrating more than 140 years of service and they are honoring military heroes and their families during the National Military Appreciation Month of May.

“Every two seconds there is a need for a blood product across the country,” said Ashley Hughes, American Red Cross District Manager for Donor Recruitment. “The American Red Cross is the single largest supplier of blood products, so if we don’t have it – it’s a little bit of a concern and right now since it’s a constant need, we are looking for O blood but we will take anyone’s blood type, if you don’t know your blood type, that’s fine too.” 

The doors opened at 10 a.m. and many people already showed up for their appointments including John Bryant of Evansville. He’s been donating blood for years and Monday’s blood drive hits closer to home for the veteran. 

“I think what this actually means for the veterans as a whole, it kind of gives them not only the insight of what they did, why they served and what they have done since they have served,” said Bryant. 

He’s also a Power Red – which is similar to a whole blood donation, except a special machine is used to allow you to safely donate two units of red blood cells during one donation all while returning your plasma and platelets to you.

“If you’re able and capable, just like all of our volunteers, they do it because they love the veterans and there is no reason not too,” Bryant said.

Others at blood drive say they just wanted to give back. 

“This is a regularly scheduled appointment for me, I come about every two months,” said Steve Hanley of Newburgh. “I encourage my friends to do the same thing, we had a critical need in my family years ago, and it was a lifesaving effort that got blood to my wife and I’ve been giving blood ever since.” 

When lives are on the line, every minute and every batch of blood counts. Organizers said Monday’s blood drive was overall a success.

Upcoming blood drives at the American Red Cross include Sunday, May 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, May 17, from 10 a.m. to o 4 p.m., Monday, May 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Thursday, May 27, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

(This story was originally published May 10, 2021)

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