DECATUR, Ill. (WAND) -- WAND News partnered with the American Red Cross for a blood drive at the Knights of Columbus in Decatur, and the need for blood is vital now more than ever.
"It's very important to maintain the supply of blood of the Red Cross locally in Illinois and across the country due to severe weather events in the past week, wildfires, flooding," American Red Cross Representative Jon Ullmann said. "We've had to cancel a number of drives across the country."
Several people in central Illinois felt the call to come donate blood.
"I know there is a lot of people in need, I've been healthy most of my life so, this one small way for me to give back to my fellow man, " Howard Schuette, a Decatur resident who donated blood, said.
"Helping people and knowing there are lots of smiles out there," Joan Foster, a Decatur resident who donated blood, said.
Blood donors will be able to track their blood to see exactly where it ends up.
"So many people might just think they might come here for an hour. They donate and then they don't really know what the impact is, but with the APP, you can see where it goes and who it helps," Ullmann said.
The goal for the blood drive is to receive 65 units of blood, which could save the lives of almost 200 people. They ended up collecting 45 units, which is enough to save about 135 lives.
"It gives me some joy because I might possibly be savings three people's lives," Schuette said.
"I'm going to make a big difference and I'm 78," Foster said.
There are several repeat donors, but the Red Cross is excited to get new first time donors, too.
"It's a very small amount of discomfort you're going to have when you donate blood. The actual process is 8-10 minutes," Ullmann said. "The person receiving the blood products is probably in much greater discomfort."
If you missed on out on donating blood at the blood drive, you can schedule an appointment with the Red Cross by using their app or calling 1-800-REDCROSS.