MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD) — January is recognized as National Blood Donor Month, and blood donations are especially important now after the COVID-19 pandemic has created shortages in blood banks over the past 2 years. Jeremy Martin, Lifeshare Blood Center District Director for the Northern Region, shared with us a little about these negative effects and the importance of blood donation.

“There’s no Walmart, there’s no gas station, there’s no place you go and just buy blood, so it actually has to come from our communities to supply our hospitals. We count on our communities to help keep these hospitals running and keep saving the lives of their neighbors.”

Longtime blood donor, Damon Lee, told us his reasons behind donating and gave a word of encouragement to future donors.

“I’ve donated since 1995, trying to save lives as much as I can. For the purpose of God put me on earth to try and save lives. I encourage people to get involved donating platelets, plasma, and blood in order to save lives of especially newborns, people with cancer, and sickle cell. So if anybody wants to come, come to the Monroe center.”

To find out more about your local blood drives and donation centers, you can visit Lifeshare’s website.