Every arm is needed this summer

7/30/2014, 1:33 p.m.
Heartland Blood Centers, an independent medical organization serving 57 hospitals in a 12-county region in Illinois and Indiana, asks all ...

Heartland Blood Centers, an independent medical organization serving 57 hospitals in a 12-county region in Illinois and Indiana, asks all healthy individuals to “roll up their sleeves” and give blood in August. The need for blood is constant, especially in the summer months, when eligible donors have even less time in their busy schedules to give. If you have not yet made your summertime blood donation, you are urged to do so this month.

“Summertime is historically the time of year when blood centers across the country struggle with their blood inventory levels. We are no exception,” said Dennis Mestrich, CEO and President with Heartland Blood Centers. “Holidays, vacations, weddings, and other celebrations keep many regular donors from giving blood in the summer months. This compounds our challenge to collect the blood needed to maintain safe and adequate blood inventories.”

In the United States alone, someone needs blood every two seconds. This could be a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker or person you may never know. They all have one thing in common – the need for a lifesaving blood donation. Each and every day there are patients who depend on the transfusions of red blood cells, platelets and plasma to stay alive – including those with cancer, leukemia, and victims of accidents and other traumas. Blood and blood products cannot be manufactured. They can only come from volunteer blood donors who take an hour to attend a blood drive or visit a donor center.

“We not only need our loyal blood donors to continue to donate in the summer, but we need new blood donors every day to help replace those donors who are no longer eligible to donate,” Mestrich adds. “We ask that all healthy community members visit a mobile blood drive or center location this summer to share their good health with others by donating blood. If you are unable to donate blood, please consider sponsoring a blood drive with us. We provide all the tools you will need to host a successful event.”

As a “thank-you” gift, blood donors will receive a $5.00 Subway Gift Card when they donate at any Heartland Blood Centers mobile or center location in August. Some blood drive or center locations may have an alternative “thank-you” gift to give.

For a list of convenient donation locations, visit www.heartlandbc.org for a Heartland center or community blood drive near you.

Blood donors receive free mini-medical exams on site including information about their temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and hemoglobin level.

To be a blood donor, individuals must be at least 17 years old, or 16 with written parental permission; weigh at least 110 pounds; be symptom free of cold, flu and allergies; and be in general good health. Donors who have traveled outside the United States within the past 12 months should contact Heartland at 1-800-7TO-GIVE to determine eligibility.

All community members are encouraged to attend the following blood drives (drives are alphabetical by city):

BOLINGBROOK - August 2 from 09:00 am to 01:00 pm at Bolingbrook Community Center: 201 Canterbury Lane / Unit B ;

BOLINGBROOK - August 09 from 09:00 am to 01:00 pm at Bolingbrook Fire Station 5: 1901 Rodeo Dr (119th);

JOLIET - August 10 from 09:00 am to 12:00 pm at St Francis Xavier Catholic Church: 2500 Arbeiter Road ; Please call Russ at

815-546-6602, sign up after Mass, or online at www.heartlandbc.org All eligible blood donors are needed to help us reach our

lifesaving goals for our summer blood drive. Every donor will receive a $5.00 Subway Gift Card! Please bring a photo ID and

eat a good meal before donating. Attention, student blood donors ages 17-21: Enter the "Students Saving Summer Scholarship"

raffle for the chance to win one of five, $1,000.00 summer scholarships. Entry form available at signups or online and forms

must be presented at the time of donation. Family and friends may help give an extra chance to the student donor they designate

on the entry form when they donate as well.

JOLIET - August 26 from 07:00 am to 11:00 am at Inwood Athletic Club: 3000 W Jefferson St ;

JOLIET - August 29 from 09:00 am to 01:00 pm at Will County Health Department: 501 Ella Avenue