Whenever I get an email from our good friend Jennifer Bowman, Public Relations and Marketing Manager at the Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC), I know that the blood and/or platelet supply is in danger of not meeting the demand. That's where your help comes in.

As Jennifer Bowman points out in her email, it's not just the Rockford area that is in need. As you might imagine, Texas, in particular Houston, needs blood. And, it's up to the RRVBC and many other blood banks and centers across the nation to help pick up Houston's supply:

“The country needs to rally together and go donate at their local blood center. We will all be helping to assist the Texas blood centers affected by the disaster along with needing to keep our local hospitals stocked for a busy three day weekend.”


Donating blood is safe and simple. You are most likely able to donate if you are at least 17 years old (16 year olds may donate with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health. Persons taking medications are not necessarily disqualified. There are four community donor centers throughout the area (Belvidere, Freeport, Rockford) as well as many mobile blood drives. Log on to www.rrvbc.org for hours, directions and mobile blood drive schedules.

And, even in non-disaster times, the RRVBC takes care of more than just Rockford's hospitals. The RRVBC is the sole provider of blood products and services to Beloit Health Systems, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, Mercyhealth Hospital—Rockton Ave., OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center—Belvidere.

And, for those who may know their way around blood donations but may be unfamiliar with the concept of "platelet donation," this may help: