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Not going anywhere for spring break? Blood drive appeal is for you

Gerald Matteson

Kids are out of school and the vacation plans are set, but for those not travelling over spring break, why not take the opportunity to save a life?

From 1-7 p.m. Thursday, March 20, and 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, March 21, the River Falls Community Blood Drive will be collecting blood for the American Red Cross at American Legion Hall, 701 N. Main St.

Gerald Matteson, blood drive coordinator, said this year he’s running short on donors due to school spring break vacation.

Matteson said he starts with a list of 500 people that he calls to schedule donations.

“All it takes is a phone call,” he said.

In one night Matteson said he makes 210 phone calls to repeat donors. He added that he makes about 1,200-1,500 calls for each blood drive. 

Matteson said, “People are very good and gracious.”

With the timing of the blood drive “some (repeat donors) are out of town, but I’ll get them next time,” Matteson said with a smile.

As of now, Mattson said 42 people he has called will be out of town for Spring Break (March 15-22).

He said he has close to 200 people scheduled to donate and that another 30-40 will sign up prior to the drive. He’s predicting he will have close to 230 people donating at the March 20-21 blood drive.

Matteson said they hope to gather 200 pints of blood during the March drive -- the River Falls Community Blood Drive typically collects between 214-262 pints.

He said that one person’s donation can continue or save three people’s lives. He added that 250 pints of blood can help 750 people.

When asked why people should donate blood, Matteson said, “You can save three lives, it could save your life.”

“It’s life. If you can’t give money, you can give something more important.”

For more information about the River Falls Community Blood Drive or to schedule an appointment call Matteson at 715-426-5521 or go online at and search by zip code -- 54022.

There’s more to this story. Find it in the March 13 print edition of the River Falls Journal.

Jillian Dexheimer
Jillian Dexheimer has been a copy editor and reporter for the River Falls Journal since 2011. She previously worked for the River Falls Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau. Dexheimer holds a sociology degree from UW-River Falls.
(715) 426-1046