ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — COVID and shutdowns plus social distancing has created a ripple effect for many local businesses and non-profits, including blood banks.
“In our high schools alone, being such a big chunk of our collective donors, we’ve lost about 3,000 units probably, not being able to do the high school blood drives this year,” said donor recruiter Allysa Eller.
The Rock River Valley Blood Center says due to the pandemic, many donors have opted not to give blood and there just aren’t as many drives happening now.
Eller of RRVBC says it has been challenging to get people to donate.
“Donors that may have normally come in aren’t eligible for whatever reason it may be. People are traveling more often or going to blood drives right now in the pandemic it’s a little bit different where we can’t go to certain blood drives that we used to,” she explained.
Scott Haugh is an army veteran. He knows what it is like to need to get blood after winning his battle against lung cancer. He says despite the pandemic, life doesn’t stop and it’s important for people to give blood to help those in need.
“There are people out there who are getting in accidents, accidents don’t stop. The need for blood doesn’t stop just because. So, to me, this is a huge, huge need,” said Haugh.
Each blood donor can save up to three lives. Longtime Freeport resident Patrick Sanders says choosing to donate is an easy decision.
“Every day there’s somebody needing some blood and when we can do this we’re happy to contribute,” explained Sanders.
Read more details on how you can donate here.