While many in Michiana say prices at the pump put them in a very bad situation, the South Bend Medical Foundation says it's dealing with another very bad situation… a critically low blood supply.
It's been done before and they had no choice but to do it again..incentives to attract more blood donors.
The South Bend Medical Foundation is giving away five 100 dollar gas cards. Winners will be announced after 5 PM Friday.
In fact, first time donors say there is nothing to be afraid of. You will end up seeing more kicking and screaming at the pump than at the blood bank.
Dale Whitfield says, “Buying gas is kind of like giving blood anymore.”
He didn't really draw the connection until Thursday when his neighbor Jerry DeDapper explained. The blood supply in Michiana is critically low. That means there is less than a one day supply per blood type and we can't get it from anywhere in the country.
The men agree South Bend Medical Foundation's idea to give out gas cards to some donors was an appropriate one for the holiday weekend.
DeDapper says, “It hurts me that not a lot of people have been giving blood. It does because so many people need their help and there's so few people to help.”
Whitfield says we need more dedicated donors like his neighbor DeDapper who has donated over fifty times.
DeDapper says, “My eight weeks is up and sort of after 50 trips you have a feeling when your 56 days are up and that's the interim it takes to donate.”
Now, thanks to him, his neighbor will be a regular.
Whitfield says, “It's no big thing. There's no real pain involved.”
They say the real pain comes when they leave here and take more money out of their wallets at the pump. Maybe they'll be cut an unexpected break when the five gas card winners are picked at five o'clock Friday.
Whitfield says, “I had no idea about the gas cards.”
With the gas cards as a motivator, the South Bend Medical Foundation says Thursday they had almost 200 people give blood. That's more than they had the entire week before.
The blood collected by Friday and Saturday has to last them through Wednesday night.