Giving back by giving blood - Wandtv.com, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Giving back by giving blood

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In helping the relief efforts the Decatur community gave more than $140,000 to the Red Cross this week and there's another way to help.

Blood is always something that people can donate. It comes at no cost and in just 15 to 20 minutes someone can help three people.

Red cross officials said that since the casualty count in Moore, Oklahoma wasn't too high, there wasn't a huge call for blood. But with the blood that was needed, the Red Cross was able to help out and keep an adequate blood supply. Still, it needs to be replenished to maintain that level.  Now may be the best time to donate before holidays, vacations and summer gets into full swing. It's possible people couldn't donate during the winter months due to illness. It's important to have enough blood on demand because if anything major or catastrophic does happen, then blood can be sent wherever, whenever.

"By giving you can help us maintain that standard of of response to making sure that the people have that blood in a timely fashion," said Carl Baker Executive Director of the American Red Cross Mid-Illinois Chapter.

One of biggest needs is O-Negative blood -- that type can be donated to anybody. The Red Cross would like to increase the number of people who give blood. Only a small portion of the population donates and every two seconds a unit of blood is needed

Saturday, May 25 people have a chance to donate blood at the Memorial Day blood drive going on at the Hickory Point Mall in Decatur. It's going on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. outside of Bergner's.

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