Giving back with blood

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA - Many businesses try to give back to their communities, but one arer business is encouraging its customers to give back with them.

They want people to donate blood. It's something Curtis Orchard Office Manager Aaron Curtis Graham has done for about a decade. 

"It was something that was installed in me from a young age. I have a grandfather who fought in World War II, had blood transfusions and also had a rare blood type himself," he says.

Graham has always known donations can be life-saving, but got a reminder again this fall, when a co-worker's cousins was shot in Las Vegas. They say blood transfusions helped save her life.

"When you have somebody that survived something because of the blood donation they couldn't have got any other way, that puts it into perspective," says Graham.

Hearing that story was inspiring. Graham and his sister, Rachel Coventry, worked with Community Blood Services of Illinois to bring the Blood Mobile to the Orchard for a day.

"Just as a way to give back and do something tangible 'cause there were so many lives affected by this," says Coventry.

Sometimes all it takes is knowing what these donations mean, to get someone started.

"If it was me in that situation, I would want somebody to donate for me," says Graham.

But this duo hopes their outreach will encourage people to start donating before that situation.  Curtis Orchard is working with Community Blood Services of Illinois on another project for the future.

If you're feeling inspired to donate, you can join us for our Gift of Life Blood Drive. It's in memory of WCIA-3's Robert Reese and Dave Benton. The drive is Thursday, December 28, at Lincoln Square Mall, in Urbana. There will also be locations in Springfield, Mattoon, Danville and Decatur.


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