LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A quick wrap, a few squeezes, and off you go. Dozens filed into the Indiana Blood Center on Saturday for the Big Blue Blood Drive.
For a pint of blood, Colts fans received an official NFL football with a picture of Chuck Pagano on it.
"It's wonderful," said Donor Center Specialist Becky Gilmore. "Each and every one of them if you were to ask them why they donate, it's not necessarily for the football."
Gilmore said 40 percent of Americans have the ability to donate blood, but only 5 percent of them actually do. Events like this help people realize how easy it is to save a life.
"It's hard to wrap your mind around being able to save a life, and it's a way to donate that doesn't cost you anything," said Gilmore.
"It's the right thing to do," said blood donor Carol Sikler. "I have more than I need and there are others, who don't have what they need."
Sikler, an avid Colts fan, considers herself a regular at the Blood Center. So much so, she even has the routine memorized.
"48 questions, Yes/No, No big deal," said Sikler. "I could probably recite the questions for you. I do actually read them. I just read them very quickly. This is number 165, almost to 21 gallons. Turns out, I crank out platelets at a pretty good rate."
Sikler said she has been donating since 2000 and finds the process easy and worthwhile.
"It's a really simple thing to do, but it makes a world of difference," said Sikler. "It doesn't hurt. Sometimes there is a little bit of discomfort, but it's no big deal. It gets addictive because they treat you like rock stars. It's very satisfying."
If you would like to donate, the Indiana Blood Center is open Monday through Saturday, and often has blood drives on Purdue's campus.
Gilmore said students make up a huge portion of blood donations, and the summer months are when they really need help from the community.
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