State Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) is urging area residents to consider making a donation at the third annual blood drive sponsored by she in conjunction with Heartland Blood Centers.
The event, which is to be held from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 at 11032 W. Lincoln Hwy, intends to fill the gap in need amid a reported blood shortage in the area.
“It’s important especially this summer,” McDermed said. “It’s the shortest time of year for blood. People are distracted by summer activities. People who typically give blood are not. We’re trying to fill the gap.”
What’s more is, not everyone who is interested in donating blood can make a contribution. A medical history screening will be conducted on-site, McDermed said.
Many factors are considered when determining if donors demonstrate good basic health.
Disqualifiers for prospective donors include Zika Virus, certain chemotherapies and antibiotics.
McDermed encourages anyone who is interested to choose to make a difference.
“It’s simple. The truck will be parked by my office right off Route 30,” McDermed said. “There’s a form to fill out. The truck they have is amazingly comfortable. There are two to three nurses. It’s easy, quick. They really enjoy it.”
After making a donation, those who contribute will be provided a snack and a drink.
The hope, McDermed said, is donors will feel compelled to give.
“I think it’s an important service,” McDermed said. “There’s no goal. We’re trying to grow the drive. When you create something like this, you want to establish an expectation where people give back. This is my third year as a State representative, and we want to grow community service opportunities in the area.”
The cause is to be supported by McDermed who currently serves on the Healthcare Licenses Committee in Springfield. There, she works to promote healthcare and all parts of the healthcare system.
McDermed said creating awareness for the cause is troubling and stressed that she is ready to confront the challenge that awaits her.
“It’s a big challenge because there’s always a gap for blood donated in the summer,” McDermed said. “Blood banks do what they can. I’m not sure why [blood donations are] particularly low this summer. We want to be part of the overall awareness for donating blood.”
Prospective donors are encouraged to schedule an appointment, though drop-ins are welcome.
McDermed said the impact donors can hope to have by donating blood is huge.
“I think people really get a lot out of our drive,” McDermed said. “I do myself. I’m not sure where your blood goes. It could go to a child, an adult, someone involved in a life threatening accident. You know you’re making a difference. Your donation affects more than one person.”