By Mekialaya White

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Dozens of volunteers showed up to the Southlands Shopping Center in Aurora on Saturday morning, all with the desire to give back.

People sat in the waiting room at the Aurora Family YMCA Teen Center waiting for screenings to give blood. The donations are especially needed now, as summer is a challenging time to maintain local blood supplies. Southlands and Vitalant teamed up to help with that need.

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“Vitalant, they have this great blood mobile, and with the current health crisis, they’re not able to gather in that. They’ve had to find locations like Southlands a nice big open space,” said Joyce Rocha, Southlands Director of Marketing.

One donor, waiting patiently with digital paperwork in hand, was Tim Griggs. “I heard that they needed donations and that they were down here. I always thought it was a good thing to do, so I came out,” he said.

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He’s no stranger to donating blood.

“How many times have you given back?” asked CBS4’s Mekialaya White. “About 200 over the years,” he said.

“My wife used to work at Children’s Hospital so that drew me in and it got to be something I did every month or two.”

COVID-19, along with potential donors’ reluctance to donate during the pandemic, has impacted the blood reserve and increased the need exponentially.

“It really doesn’t take much time. It really doesn’t hurt at all. It’s no different than getting a regular shot,” he said. “It feels good. I think everybody knows we’re in a difficult time and if there’s something you can do to help out folks who need blood, it seems like an easy thing to do.”

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“There’s always a need, especially now. And it feels good. Look at all these great people,” added Rocha.

If you missed the drive and would like to give back, Vitalant has more information listed on their website. Donors also receive COVID-19 antibody tests. Results are available within two weeks.

Mekialaya White

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