PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local blood centers are experiencing a shortage, and they need you to roll up your sleeves to help.

Kirby Winn, public relations manager of ImpactLife, said the Peoria blood center is running at about a one or two day supply for Type O blood. It’s the most sought after type of blood because its a universal donor.

“This is an important time to come in and support the blood supply, so that we have a ready supply of red blood cells, platelets and plasma for any possible use…it’s just really important that we have a strong supply of type O donations because the use is so much more flexible as compared with the other blood types,” said Winn.

Winn said blood donations typically drop in the summer because of vacations and schedule changes.

“We have to keep a ready supply of blood available at all times, but we work very hard to do that. We do have some times of the year where it’s more challenging and late summer has been that way, certainly holiday weekends….people who give blood just might not schedule that appointment on Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend.

With back-to-school season underway, Winn said there will be more opportunities to donate blood.

“We have more of our blood drives that we hold at high schools, colleges, and universities. That does help us bring in more donors. Most donors fall into their traditional routines at the end of summer,” he said.

The blood donation process takes about 45 minutes from registration to post-donation snack. After registration, the donor will go through a pre-donation screening, which involves a mini-physical and a questionnaire.

“The actual period of giving blood is something more like eight to 10 minutes,” said Winn.

To help with donor flow and scheduling, Winn said it is a good idea to book an appointment. However, they do take walk-ins.

ImpactLife is offering incentives to first-time and repeat donors through Sept. 10. Donors can opt for a gift card or donation to, a nonprofit that funds PreK-12 across the country to lessen the financial burden on teachers.

  • First-time donation with ImpactLife: $50 gift card or donation 
  • Whole blood donations at mobile blood drives: $10 gift card or donation
  • Whole blood donations at ImpactLife donor center locations: $25 gift card or donation
  • Platelet, plasma, or double red cell donations: $25 gift card or donation
  • First or second-time platelet donation: $50 gift card or donation