With the Fourth of July weekend rapidly approaching, the Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) is facing a critical need for all blood types. Due to the holiday closure, the center typically loses 150 units of donated blood – in addition to the weekend being a busy trauma time for local hospitals.

RRVBC has been facing a critical blood shortage since May, which is already placing an immense strain on the community’s blood supply. RRVBC is asking anyone able to donate blood to please schedule a donation appointment as soon as possible; walk in to one of the four donor centers in Rockford, Belvidere, or Freeport to donate; or visit a mobile blood drive this week.

As an incentive to donate before the holiday, leading up to the Fourth RRVBC donors will receive the following:

  • Monday, July 1: A $10 gift card to Embassy Suites good at the rooftop restaurant as part of RRVBC’s Never Miss a Monday giveaway.
  • Tuesday, July 2: Entry into a raffle for a chance to win tickets to attend a Rivets game.
  • Wednesday, July 3: A coupon for free bundlets from Nothing Bundt Cakes.

All week long donors will also receive a free T-shirt while supplies last and will be entered into the July drawing for the chance to win a $500 gift card.

To encourage high school and college students to donate ahead of the holiday, RRVBC is also holding a High School Reunion blood drive. Donors can give blood in support of their high school or alma mater at any of RRVBC’s centers July 1 through 3 and be entered into a drawing to win special High School Reunion incentives, including Hurricane Harbor passes, Flow Supreme Air Sports VIP passes, and free Crumbl Cookies.

“Holiday weekends already pose a challenge for us – especially the Fourth of July, as traumatic events tend to increase while donations unfortunately decrease,” says RRVBC Chief Executive Officer Lisa Entrikin. “Combined with our recent urgent need for blood to reach 800 donated units to keep up with local demand, the need for blood donors has never been higher. We hope the High School reunion event as well as our incentives encourages the community to please come in, donate, and make blood donation a new holiday tradition.”

The blood already on the shelves is what saves lives (blood has a 42-day shelf life), which is why maintaining a sufficient blood supply is essential to ensure patients in need receive optimal treatment.

To schedule a donation, visit rrvbc.org, download the myRRVBC app or call 815-965-8751. Walk-ins are welcome. Organizations are also encouraged to call about hosting blood drives to help support the community’s need.