ANDERSON — The holidays are a tough time to get donations of blood.
When people go out of town on vacations or to visit family, they don’t show up at blood drives. And the holidays keep people busy, which can keep them from donating.
As field representative for Versiti Blood Center of Indiana, Megan Borgmann knows those realities. Versiti provides blood, related products and services to more than 60 hospitals in Indiana.
Its goal is to collect 650 units of blood daily. Each donor contributes one unit.
“That means holidays, Saturdays, Sundays, every single day,” she said. “When you get close to a holiday like this (Thanksgiving) or Christmas and winter, (people) travel.”
And organizations that typically host blood drives normally don’t do any during the week of holidays.
“Every unit that we don’t collect last week adds onto this week,” Borgmann said. “It kind of puts us in a predicament where we need a lot more help this week coming out of that holiday to get us back to where we would’ve been if there hadn’t been a holiday.
“The only way that we save lives is through donors,” she said. “There is no substitute for a human donor. It’s one hour of your day, and it can give (a patient) years (or) months with their family that they wouldn’t have had.”
One opportunity for the Anderson community to help out is by donating blood at the upcoming drive in Anderson Preparatory Academy’s gym from 1:30 to 6 p.m. Dec. 3. Donors should enter door S5 at the back of the building.
All donors will get a free T-shirt as a thank you.
“We’re the primary blood supplier for the hospitals here in Anderson, so when they donate, there’s a really good chance that they could help somebody in their own community,” Borgmann said.
She encourages anyone who is able to donate to consider it.
“We can’t save lives without the community’s help, and the community of Anderson has shown that for us countless times. We just need your help again.”
Those who donate should bring a government-issued identification (driver’s permit or license, state-issued ID or passport) to their appointment or walk-in. She also reminds donors to eat well before donating.
“We always want somebody who’s had a lot of water, (is) well-hydrated. It’s not like your doctor’s office where we want you to fast. It’s actually the opposite,” Borgmann said. “Eat as much food as possible. You burn, like, 650 calories when you donate blood on average.”
To be eligible to donate, you must be over the age of 17, in good health, have no cold or flu symptoms and weigh at least 110 pounds.
To schedule an appointment to donate or to find a blood drive near you, visit versiti.org and click “donate blood” at the top. While appointments are highly encouraged so the center knows how much equipment to bring, walk-ins are welcome.