What’s a Bloodmobile and how you can help the Red Cross buy a new one

COURTESY: Molly Brewer (KSNW)

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The American Red Cross is one of the most recognizable international response organizations helping people in times of need.

It’s through volunteers and generous donors that they’re able to make a difference.

Now, the local Kansas chapter needs a little help.

“Every donation counts,” said Michelle Jantz, executive director of the South Central and Southeast Kansas chapter for the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood through donations.

But they need a new Bloodmobile.

A Bloodmobile is a bus specifically outfitted to carry equipment, beds and supplies needed to safely donate blood all around the state of Kansas.

Certainly, everyone can come down to our donor center and donate but about 82 percent of the blood we collect, we collect out in the community. And so a Bloodmobile provides us with an alternative, kind of some choices, in when we can collect blood out in the community,” Jantz said.

One blood donation can help up to three different people, according to the Red Cross.

And one of those Bloodmobiles has the potential to collect an average of 30 donations a day.

“That can be maybe as many as 90 lives saved by the blood that is donated,” she said.

One of their buses is so old that they have to look to salvage yards to find equipment when it needs repairs, according to Jantz.

“We try to take really good care of our entire fleet and so normally a Bloodmobile has a lifespan of about 15 years and somewhere around 200,000 miles,” Jantz said. “The Bloodmobile we’re looking to replace is 25 years old and has over 500,000 miles.”

The total goal to pay for the new Bloodmobile is $375,000.

So far, the Red Cross has received $200,000 in challenge grants and $20,000 in donations from individuals and businesses in the community.

That leaves another $155,000 left to meet their final goal.

The challenge grants expire August 31 so there’s just a few weeks left.

“We are here in the summer months, which are notorious for seeing a drop in donations,” Jantz said. “People see a drop in donations, just have other things going on so being able to collect every unit in every way is very important.”

If you’re interested in donating you can contact Katherine Sanneman at (316) 219-4031 or by email at Katherine.Sanneman@redcross.org.


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