What It Takes: Volunteers Make Saving Lives Possible

Saving lives through blood donation is a massive undertaking. From the actual donation to processing and transporting blood to hospitals, it takes many LifeServers to get even a single unit of blood to a patient in need! It’s not just blood donors and team members who are a part of the LifeServe machine: we rely on volunteers, too!

“Over 175 operational volunteers from Iowa, South Dakota, and Nebraska provide over 20,000 hours of life-saving support each year,” says Erin Haafke, Volunteer Coordinator. “Together with our generous blood donors and caring team members, volunteers are essential to the overall health of our community.”

Some volunteers give their time because they are no longer eligible to donate blood. Others simply want to get out of the house. What each of our volunteers has in common is that they support our lifesaving mission! The bulk of our volunteer force serves as blood delivery drivers. In 2016, the LifeServe fleet, which consists of 61 vehicles including 5 full size buses, logged more than 1.5 million miles. You read that right: million! 
Those more interested in face-to-face interaction play a huge role in our organization, too. Sioux City volunteer Deb Main assists with a variety of activities with LifeServe. As an event volunteer, she greets donors and makes sure they are refreshed at large blood drives and gift wraps donors’ presents during the holidays.

“There’s always something to learn!” Deb said. “It’s a fascinating science. You get to meet a variety of people. There are a lot of different opportunities. And it feels wonderful!”

We also love recognizing our volunteers for the work they do. This summer, David Molstad from Moville, Iowa received the Governor’s Volunteer Award at a ceremony in Storm Lake!

“We make it easy for volunteers to provide meaningful service, impacting the lives of thousands of hospital patients, through a variety of opportunities,” says Haafke. “Whether you have a few days a week or a couple hours a month, let’s talk about how you can join our life-saving volunteer team!”

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer LifeServer, reach out to Erin.Haafke@lifeservebloodcenter.org!