The demand for blood has increased dramatically because of the pandemic. Yet many local blood drives haven’t seen the numbers they’re used to.
But, one Southwest Florida group has been doing their part to make the blood drives that have happened a success.
Every year Horizon Village has its Christmas parade but this year, they are celebrating saving lives.
Roy Becker is the president of the neighborhood. “Over the last four years, we probably saved over 4,000 lives with our donations from the blood drive,” said Becker.
Becker said the neighborhood usually hosts three blood drives per year. That was before th pandemic hit. “This year, we added an additional two drives so the residents came out and supported Lee Health,” Becker said.
On Saturday, they reached a milestone. Horizon Village has now donated over 600 pints of blood this year.
BJ Beck and Doris Davies are just two of the many donors. “We have races on who can pump the fastest,'” BJ said.
Lee Health’s Blood Supervisor Jeremy Puckett says donating blood is crucial as COVID-19 cases continue rising.
“We’re still very very low around the country so even trying to share resources amongst other blood centers is impossible so we always need people to come out,” said Puckett.
Puckett says it’s “TBD” on whether or not the COVID-19 vaccine, which is supposed to be shipped starting Monday, will affect blood donations. “We’re waiting to hear from the FDA on what they finalize as the criteria. If you get it do you have to wait two weeks, three weeks before you can donate,” Puckett said.
To donate, here is a list of upcoming blood drives:
12/14 Lee Health Coconut Point 10 a.m. -3 p.m., 23450 via Coconut Point, Bonita Springs, FL 34135
12/14 Lee Health Cardiology, 9-1, 16261 Bass Rd., Suite 300, Fort Myers, FL 33908
12/17 Lee County VA Clinic 10 a.m.- 4 p.m., 2489 Diplomat Pkwy E., Cape Coral, FL 33909
12/21 Hyatt Place Coconut Point, 1-4, 23120 via Villagio, Estero, FL 33928
12/27 Red Cross 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., 4701 Summerlin Road, Fort Myers, FL 33919
12/31 Royal Scoop Ice Cream, Bonita 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., 15 8TH St. Unit D, Bonita Springs, FL 34134
1/2/21 Bell Tower Shops, 12 p.m.- 5 p.m., 5100 Bell Tower Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33912