Holiday blood drive in Omaha metro pushes for donations

Published: Dec. 19, 2021 at 5:35 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha’s Cheryl Bojanski doesn’t need a special reason to donate blood. She sees the need, holiday season or not.

“People should just be willing to do it. It doesn’t hurt, it’s not difficult, it’s not time consuming, it’s really easy,” said Bojanski.

She does so as many times as she’s eligible, four to five times a year. And wanted to be sure one of those times is now since the American Red Cross says the blood supply nationally is “dangerously low.”

“This time is always difficult to collect blood, people are busy with holidays, there’s weather, all kinds of things, but we still need to be able to provide that blood for patients in need. It’s really crucial right now,” said Josh Murray, Regional Communications Director, American Red Cross Nebraska-Iowa Region.

Murray says COVID has had different effects. He believes the recent surge is making people hesitant to donate which wasn’t necessarily the case closer to the start of the pandemic.

“We actually saw a big increase when COVID first started, people wanted to help out, but that kind of wore off. But now we’re back to where we’re in need and they’re starting to cancel, having to cancel some elective surgeries, treatments like that, at area hospitals and different hospitals around the country, said Murray.

The La Vista Conference Center is one of the more popular locations for the holiday blood drive. They ask you to sign up online if at all possible because it makes it safer and easier for everybody.

“We’re trying to ask people to schedule appointments, it helps us stagger the appointments, it helps keep the number of people in the facility at one time limited, and we’re gonna try to make it as in and out as possible. The donation itself takes eight to ten minutes.”

Donations for the drive Monday and Tuesday are the Marriott Regency in Omaha, La Vista Conference Center in La Vista, and Holiday Inn and Suites in Council Bluffs. On Tuesday, at the La Vista Conference Center again and in Elkhorn at the Relevant Center.

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