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American Red Cross needs blood

DECATUR -- A simple donation that saves lives isn't flowing like it used to.
DECATUR -- A simple donation that saves lives isn't flowing like it used to. The American Red Cross says blood donations are down nationwide.

In fact, it's the lowest they've been in more than a decade. Summer is always tough time of year for blood drives and plasma centers.

The Red Cross says regular donors aren't on their normal schedule because of vacations and kids being out of school, and high temperatures keep people from leaving home. And with the way the heat's been this summer, it's no surprise why the Red Cross is asking for help.

Meet Chris Diggs. It's the first time the Millikin University student has ever donated blood. He was mainly curious to find out his blood type, but he also doesn't mind knowing a quick prick from a needle could help save someone's life.

"Got plenty of blood, just giving it way, for free," Diggs joked. "Just a new experience, help some people out, always feels good, fulfilling you know."

It's the kind of mentality the Red Cross wishes more people shared this time of year. Most of the beds at Monday's blood drive were empty. Only 50 people were scheduled to show up. Any other time of year, it would be closer to 100.

"Our beds would definitely be full, we would have people waiting," said collections technician Kimilee Day. "It's disheartening definitely to know that people aren't willing to step up and help out the patients in need."

"People should do this more I feel and I think it's a lack of people being informed about it," added Diggs.

Or as the Red Cross says, put yourself in the shoes of someone in need.

"Think about one of their loved ones or somebody that they know that might personally need the blood themselves," said Day. "Or themselves, that they might need the blood. They need to come out and donate, it's real simple."

The blood drive we visited was just one of three Monday in Macon County. Several more are planned this month all around Central Illinois. To see if there's one happening near you, click here!
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