Forest Blood Drive A Huge Success

By lunch time Wednesday, the inside of Community Blood Center of the Ozarks' Bloodmobile was standing room only.

Forest students, faculty, and staff were rolling up their sleeves and donating their blood.

"I have a very rare type of blood, and it's often hard to get people to donate that have that type of blood.  So, I try to donate whenever I can," said Jennifer Ritchie.

And she wasn't alone in the effort.  So many came to donate, the CBCO Bloodmobile almost ran out of bags to fill.

"It's a great problem to have," said Tammy Sartin with CBCO.

In all, 16 people donated blood by the end of the drive.

Some were even doing it for the first time.

"My fiance and I have been doing a lot of recovery work in Joplin.  We also had some friends and family who lost houses.  So, when I heard they needed the blood type I have, I decided to do it," said first-time donor Keri Parish.

Community Blood Center of the Ozarks says that trend is definitely aided by the Joplin disaster.

"We have seen an overwhelming response of first-time donors, but they feel like this is a way they can help," said Sartin.

Jason Sibson said giving blood is always important, but the Joplin tornado was an extra push in the door.

"Anytime you have an opportunity to give blood, you do it.  We were down there last week cleaning up debris.  So, I definitely feel a little bit closer to the cause.  That was an extra incentive to come in here today," said Sibson.

According to CBCO about three-quarters of everyone who donated blood gave their free t-shirts back to help victims in Joplin.

Overall, Forest raised an additional 37 dollars for the the organization.