ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rock River Valley Blood Center announced the launch of a new campaign in honor of the organization’s 70th anniversary.

RRVBC’s goal is to add 7,000 new blood donors in 2023. Currently, about 16,000 people donate blood on a regular basis, which is extremely low for the area’s demand.

One out of every seven patients entering a hospital is in need of blood, but fewer than 5% of Americans are donors.

In the Rockford area, only 3% of the eligible population gives blood.

“It’s scary sometimes,” said RRVBC CEO Lisa Entrikin. “There are days [that] certain types [of blood] are so low that we have to move it around from other hospitals, to ensure that the patients that need it have it. And nobody wants to be in that position. If your loved one or yourself were in the hospital and you needed blood, the last thing you want to hear is that you are going to have to wait because it’s not available.”

Residents are encouraged to schedule an appointment to give blood.