ROCKFORD, Ill. (July 25, 2023) – Today the Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) unveiled its new Bloodmobile after raising funds for the state-of-the-art bus over the past year. The new Bloodmobile will replace its original pink bus which is in its 23rd year of service.
To celebrate the new Bloodmobile, RRVBC invited staff, government leaders, community members, and every single person who donated money for the bus to a grand reveal. The new bus is blue, with a similar design featuring the “Are You My Type?” campaign. Inside, the bus is brighter with more lighting and more spacious with much wider aisles.
In the past 22 years, RRVBC has been able to expand its reach within the Rockford region thanks to the purchase of the original pink Bloodmobile in 2000. Since then, mobile drives have increased from 100 drives per year to more than 500 drives per year.
“Thanks to generous donations from the community, we can continue to expand our reach within the region to collect life-saving blood and save more lives,” said Lisa Entrikin, CEO of the Rock River Valley Blood Center. “The upgraded Bloodmobile will allow our team to be more efficient during blood drives and allow us to continue serving the community for years to come.”
Mobile blood drives play a large role in RRVBC’s ability to supply enough blood to the 14 hospitals it serves in the region. RRVBC collects more than 30,000 units of blood each year and provides blood products to more than 90,000 patients annually, but needs to see 800 donors every week to keep up with the demand.
“We want to thank our current donors for their lifesaving support and urge new donors to commit to giving blood for the first time this year,” said Heidi Ognibene, COO of the Rock River Valley Blood Center. “The need for blood is constant and we encourage every eligible donor in our region to make blood donation a habit.”
Community members are encouraged to schedule an appointment to donate blood if they never have before, and return donors are encouraged to ask friends and family who have never donated before to give blood in support of RRVBC’s initiative to recruit 7,000 new donors in 2023 to fill the local blood supply in honor of the organization’s 70th anniversary.
Donors can make appointments online at rrvbc.org or by calling 815-965-8751. Walk-ins will also be welcome.
First-time donors should bring a photo ID. Individuals can donate a single unit (whole blood donation, the most common type) every 56 days. Students can donate once they turn 16 years of age and must have signed parental consent.