The Central California Blood Center held an emergency blood drive at the Clovis Rodeo Hall Jan. 13, as blood inventory levels hit a critical low.
The drive took place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Blood Center marketing representative Tatiana Partain said the center is increasing its number of drives and outreach events in response to a local and national shortage in blood.
“There is a critical need for blood as there is not only a local shortage but a national shortage,” Partain said. “The Rodeo Association was one of many partners that stepped up to hold one of these emergency drives for us to help us through the shortage.”
The Blood Center offered incentives as a way to encourage donations. Donors were entered into a drawing for prizes including gift cards, China Peak lift tickets and a two-day stay in Pismo, California.
Partain said donating blood is one of the best and easiest ways to support your community.
“What easier and better way is there to give back to the community than give blood because it only takes about an hour out of your day and it can save multiple lives,” Partain said.
Saving lives is the reason why Suzanne Motte decided to donate blood.
Motte has an O negative blood type, which designates her as a “universal donor.” She has donated for the last 25 years but did not fully realize the importance of donating until her grandson was born anemic.
“For years they would say, ‘You’re O negative, we need your blood.’ So I would donate, but it never really impacted me until two and a half years ago when my grandson was born severely anemic and he needed that blood,” Motte said. “So how could you say no to giving blood when it saves a life?”
The Blood Center will continue to hold emergency drives until blood inventories are replenished. A list of donation centers is available online.