Blood drive draws fewer donors during holidays

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - "If I can help other people get better, that's what's important to me, said Maria Ramos.

Empty chairs at local blood drive

And that's what's important for folks at the Drive for Life who have been teaming up with the Denver Broncos to host blood drives for twenty two years.

Brittany Sigel is the donor recruitment manager.

"The Denver Broncos know the importance of giving back to the community and for us donating blood," said Sigel. "So as we approach the holiday season, the need for donations increase while our number of donors coming through the door tend to decrease because it's the busy holiday season."

According to the Community Blood Bank, thirty seven percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but less than ten percent do annually.

One of those 10 percent: Maria Ramos, who has been donating for over forty years.

"I don't think people realize how important blood is when someone is injured and even if they are not injured, if they are sick, when their blood counts go low when they are very ill they need something to perk up their systems to get well, said Ramos.

According to the Red Cross, e very two seconds someone in the U.S. needs donated blood.

"And this is a great way to give back that isn't centered around a monetary type contribution. You come in, you give about an hour of your time and you've given a lifetime to someone a complete stranger," said Siger.