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Blood drive to help community in crisis

One of We Are Blood's mobile units.
One of We Are Blood's mobile units. Walk ins are welcomed when the bus is open.

Photo courtesy of Addison McKissack.

By: Addison McKissack

Hays County is in a critical shortage of O-negative blood and with the current flu outbreak, the amount of people who regularly donate blood has decreased, causing Austin-based We Are Blood to send out a plea for donors.

Last week, a San Marcos State Farm branch teamed up with We Are Blood for a blood drive.

Louis Hill, the account manager of We Are Blood, said someone is in need of blood every two seconds.

“It’s one of those things that you can’t put a price on,” Hill said. “To be able to see someone who needed one unit of blood make a complete turnaround is just incredible.”

The We Are Blood bus was a comfortable temperature and two out of the four beds had donors in them. A few donors ate cookies off to the side on small couches in the front of the bus. Everyone was talking and smiling.

Enter Glenn Weir.

Weir is the State Farm agent whose branch held the drive and he has been a long-time blood donor. Weir said he and his friends would always donate blood whenever a friend was in the hospital or when there was a need for blood in the community.

“You don’t need any extra [blood] until you need it,” Weir said. “It’s about being a part of your community and helping out your fellow man.”

The drive collected about 26 units of blood for the community; however, there is still more that needs to be done. Hill said We Are Blood needs to receive 200 units a day in order to keep up with the community’s demand.

Ashley Engelhart, a community member and donor, has donated almost three gallons of blood over the course of her life. For Engelhart, being a blood donor means one thing.

“Saving lives,” Engelhart said.

We Are Blood has multiple blood drives going on every day including three permanent locations where walk-ins are welcomed. For more information look at We Are Blood’s website.