Vitalant held its Annual Mash Bash Blood Drive in the hopes to help with the local blood shortage. According to the American Red Cross blood, banks across the nation have reported blood shortages.
"The Holidays are some of the toughest times to get the blood supply that we need for the community. And it's also one of the times that the need is so high," stated Amanda Merchant, the Donor Recruitment Manager.
Merchant said that the current blood supply is in a critical need which means that there is less than a two-day blood supply on the shelf
"So every 2 seconds there's someone in the nation that needs blood. And one donation can go to help at least three people in the hospital,"she said.
With some people hesitant to donate because of covid and other illnesses Merchant says they have put sanitation practices in place and they are currently a CDC-certified activity.
"So we provide masks to donors that want to wear them. We do temperature checks, we wipe things down,"explained Merchant.
Some Donors said they have been donating every year at the Mash Bash and many say they give because they know they are making a difference.
"I donate every several months, and I always come to the Mash Bash," said Timothy Thomas.
Terrance Roberts said," I really believe it's important to help the community. As they say, that is the gift that keeps on giving. And so by giving blood, you can make a difference. And you never know when you might need that same help."
Another Donor Harold Banks said," Just trying to help out and donate this the last time for this year. So I thought I'd come now before work."
As an incentive to donating, Donors will be given free food and t-shirts as a token of appreciation. Merchant says their goal is to accomplish 120 donations today
"So we have partnered with a lot of people Polk sausages here. They're giving free gumbo and sausage dogs to those that donate. We have t-shirts for all donors. And really, we're just trying to, you know, pump up the excitement and make people in the community aware of this need for blood donations because it's so high," stated Merchant.