ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) is always looking for people to donate.

With the Apollo Theater roof collapse and other incidents, the blood center needs more. Tragedy can strike at any moment, and Rock River Valley said that they want to be prepared if a mass transfusion is needed.

“One week we have enough, the next week we don’t have enough, and that’s all dependent on our committed blood donors…The event that a mass transfusion event would take place,” said Kassidi Laurel, community resources supervisor at RRVBC. “So, we want to ensure that there is enough blood available.”

The blood center has been servicing the area of over 70 years, being the sole blood supplier to 13 local hospitals. Laurel said that they need 800 donors every week. Laurel said that they are barley meeting the minimum requirements.

“That is just to meet the needs of regular transfer patients,” she said. “They may be individuals who are undergoing a surgery, maybe, a mom who has a post-partum hemorrhage. Maybe a traumatic event, a car accident, in which case they would need a transfusion.”

Brandon Barton, a regular blood donor, has already donated almost five gallons of blood, saving 108 people. He himself was saved by blood donations.

“One of the reasons I come donate a lot is I was in a bad motorcycle accident, and while I was in the hospital, I had to have a couple of blood transfusions,” Barton said.

He said that giving blood is like paying back the donors who were able to help him.

“There are people in the hospitals always needing blood, and if you can donate a pint here and there, it could help 2-3 people per pint,” Barton said. “So, it’s nice to know that they have enough blood to cover people that need it in the hospitals.”

It is the blood on the shelf that saves lives when tragedy strikes, and that is why every donation is crucial.

“When you donate with us, you are directly saving,” Laurel said. “The lives of patients that live nearby, that live within your community.”

People can donate blood every 56 days. The RRVBC hopes that the community is inspired to take action and help make a difference by donating blood.