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     by Barb Mazarakos

You’ve seen the spots on the news. They usually follow a tragedy of epic proportions: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods. People sit with IV’s attached, donating blood to help those who have been devastated by something beyond their control, and the public comes out en masse to help.

It’s a wonderful act of love and giving, to give the gift of life to those they have never met who have suffered injuries or illness. But that need goes far beyond big scale events; many people of all ages and for many reasons need blood every day, and the sad truth is that there has long been a shortage of blood donations available. According to the website of the American Red Cross, now is no exception as this year’s wide-spread snow and freezing weather has prevented people from coming out and donating, causing the overall blood supply to drop even lower.

Here at Christ Lutheran, there is a long- standing tradition of blood donor drives, spearheaded by Mrs. Carol Ledogar. Carol first became involved as a volunteer in the early 1970′s while working as a nurse, when the Red Cross sponsored the drives at CLC. She now continues to help by organizing 3-4 drives a year in association with Heartland Blood Center. Along with member Helen Duehr, who has been a familiar face at the registration table, Carol tries to get the word out about the need for blood, saying that people are great about donating when there is a special need  but the numbers just aren’t the same if it is simply to help keep the supply stocked.

One unit of blood can go far and often helps more than one person. Palos and Silver Cross Hospitals are among those locally who receive supply from our blood drive. Cancer patients, young children, and people who have been in accidents are just a few examples of those who might benefit from your donation directly. Giving is easy, with no special advanced preparation needed (in fact, Carol suggests you eat before you come) and the draw itself is done by trained professionals. No appointments are needed, and within an hour you are done and can walk out knowing that you have given a true life saving gift to someone you have never met.

The next blood donor drive will be held in the gym of Ledogar Hall, right here at Christ Lutheran on Tuesday, March 25 from 3-7pm. Donors age 16 (with parental consent) and up who are in good health will be welcomed and greatly appreciated. If you are able, please come by and donate. Your gift will change the lives of many.