By Jahlil Howard/Special to The Delta
The American Red Cross came to Missouri Valley College collecting blood donations from students, staff and community members who wanted to do something to help others.
Rylee Mills, a student donor at MVC, said, giving blood is his way of giving back to the community.
“I feel it’s the right thing to do,” he said. “My blood type is really in need of it”
Mills said he has given blood often and doesn’t have some of the fears that first-time donors have.
“I don’t have a problem with needles,” he said.
Giving back to the community is also what brought American Red Cross worker Jeff Piper to the blood drive.
“I took this job back in February 2019,” he said. “I retired from the postal service and decided to give back to the community.”
Public service is something that is very important to Piper.
“Before the postal service, I went to the military for 20 years and the postal service for 23 years,” he said.
The Red Cross developed the first nationwide civilian blood program in the 1940s and still provides more than 40 percent of the blood products in this country. The Red Cross relies on more than 20,000 nurses and other health professionals who bring the mission to life each day.
Piper said the blood donations from Valley will go back to the Red Cross’s facilities and they’ll distribute it in their local facilities based on their requests. All the blood will be logged in and typed and tested for hepatitis, HIV and many other diseases. Piper said the Red Cross contacts donors if they can’t use their donation.