SAN ANGELO, Texas — On Saturday, January 9, Vitalant in San Angelo is hosting a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day blood drive that gives members of the community an opportunity to show support for local law enforcement and donate blood to those in need, after a year where the pandemic has caused a blood donor shortage.
"Of course, the pandemic affected every single area of everyone's life, and certainly it affected blood donations as well. That has dropped off; we had many mobile blood drives that have canceled, we're still not doing blood drives with most schools at this point in time... It has definitely affected our ability to collect blood," said Linda Grace, the donor recruitment supervisor for Vitalant.
If you donate blood on Saturday, Vitalant will automatically test you for COVID-19 antibodies, which will help determine if your blood contains convalescent plasma, which could help save the lives of patients battling COVID-19.
"The convalescent plasma is transfused directly into COVID-19 patients in our hospital who are fighting for their life right now," Grace said.
Donors will also receive a t-shirt, Chic-fil-A- A, Fuzzy's and McDonald's coupons. Law enforcement personnel who present in uniform will receive a t-shirt and will get 50% off of the price of their meal.
"If you're healthy, the call is there, the need is there, come out and do this. If you've never donated blood before, this is a great time to do this," Grace said.
The blood drive is taking place at the Fuzzy's taco shop on Sherwood Way from 11:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.