Local community members saved as many as 540 lives by giving blood during Baldwin EMC’s emergency blood drive on February 6 in Summerdale. The staff from LifeSouth Community Blood Center collected a total of 180 pints of blood, each of which can benefit as many as three people.
“We are overwhelmed with the community’s response,” said LifeSouth Regional Manager Jennifer Rulon. “This was the largest LifeSouth blood drive ever held in Baldwin County. Thank you to Baldwin EMC and everyone who came out to show support by rolling up their sleeve and saving a life. We sincerely appreciate you all!”
The co-op held the emergency blood drive in response to discovering LifeSouth was facing a critical shortage of blood, which serves to benefit local hospitals.
“When we heard about the shortage, we knew we had to help,” said Baldwin EMC Vice President of Corporate Services and Public Relations Mark Ingram. “And when we put out the call, the community showed up. Boy, did they show up.”
The co-op traditionally hosts two blood drives each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. While the number of donors who turns out is always high, Ingram said event organizers didn’t predict the incredible response from Wednesday’s emergency event.
“We opened the doors at 8 a.m. and the foot traffic just never stopped,” Ingram said. “We kept expecting a lull, and it never came. When we heard we’d hit 100 donations late in the afternoon, we were thrilled, but then the number just kept growing. This was by far the best response we’ve ever had to a blood drive, and we are grateful for the generosity of our donors.”