The pandemic has prevented many of us from going about our usual routines, but the need for blood is still important!

We chatted with Erica Barker, Donor Relations Consultant for the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center to talk about a few upcoming blood drives that you can take part in.

This Friday (2/26) at MercyOne from 11am to 3:30pm. There are a few appointments available so if you're interested you can visit the Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center website or call 563.321.9613 for more information.

There is another event next Monday (3/1) with Key West Fire from 3 to 6pm on the blood center donor bus. Again, make an appointment at the website or call for details.

There is another event coming up in Epworth on Thursday, March 4th at the Legion Hall from 3 to 6pm.

Why are there blood drives all over? Erica says it's sometimes more convenient for residents of other towns to visit at remote locations, but you can always give at their physical location, at 4867 Asbury Road.

Donation appointments can be set up for Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 6:30pm. Fridays and Saturdays slots are available from 7am to 1pm and Sundays from 6 to 10:30am.

To give you must have an appointment and be wearing a mask. You can give blood once every 56 days. It typically takes about 45 minutes to an hour to give. If you want to speed up the process you can use the 'EarlyQ Questionnaire' at their website.

The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center is the exclusive provider of blood products to over 115 hospitals in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri.

MercyOne and Unity Point are among those hospitals, so if you're giving blood... chances are you're helping someone in our community.

Help give the gift of life. Give blood!

~ Chris Farber / Y105