Shoppers took time away from the hustle and bustle of Black Friday sales at Alton Square Mall last Friday and Saturday to give a piece of themselves that will last long after the post-holiday clearance prices.
AdVantage News sponsored a blood drive on the mall’s second floor and welcomed more than 40 donors over a nine-hour period.
Alton resident Laura Ellington and her son Cameron stopped by to donate while shopping for Christmas gifts.
“My brother just had a kidney transplant a little over a week ago,” Ellington said. “He was on dialysis and needed a kidney. His best friend’s wife went to be tested and was a match for him. If she didn’t get tested, he’d still be searching. That’s why my son and I are giving blood. I feel this is my way of doing what I can to give back to someone else.”
Many donors came to Alton Square because they heard of the blood drive and decided to stick around for holiday deals at the stores.
“I’ve given blood many times over the years,” Godfrey native Shirley Lyerla said. “It shows in my records that I’ve given over a gallon of blood in the past. I don’t particularly like needles, but the reward is worth a moment of mild discomfort.”
On average, more than 4.5 million Americans would die each year without blood transfusions. About 32,000 pints of blood are used each day in the United States, which breaks down to someone receiving a transfusion every three seconds.
Shortages of all types of blood occur during the summer and winter holidays. The main blood types are A, B, AB and O. AB is the universal recipient and O negative is the universal donor.