In addition to the gratification donors received knowing that they saved up to three lives by saying ‘yes’ to the needle, donors also received a coveted trip to the Bears locker room.
LifeSource, the largest blood center in the Chicagoland area, is dedicated to donor recruitment, blood collection, component manufacturing, testing and product management. As someone who donates regularly, I learned of the annual Soldier Field Blood Drive through LifeSource and was thrilled to be able to donate in such an iconic and exciting setting such as Soldier Field.
The event took place in the United Club, Level 1 area of Soldier Field. Donors went through a screening first to see if they were eligible to donate, and then each person was assigned to a seat to begin the donating process. Nurses on-site handled everyone with exceptional care, and made all the first time donors feel extremely comfortable. Participants donated one pint of blood, and in return helped save three lives!
Shortly after donating, fans were able to refuel their sugar levels with cookies, crackers and juices to help them gear up for the ultimate moment – the tour of the Bears locker room.
Soldier Field security staff rotated in groups to take donors down to the locker room where their favorite players gear up for game day. Along the tour, we saw the iconic tunnel where the players charge out of onto the field before every home game. After a few elevators and turns through the halls, we arrived in the locker room. You could see the excitement on everyone’s face as they stepped into the long narrow room that is lined with Bears lockers.
The Bears had a surprise for donors as well with three members of the ’85 Championship Bears waiting in the locker room to give donors an additional treat of taking pictures with them and signing autographs. Players rotated in shifts, and there were special appearances made by kicker Robbie Gould, Hall of Fame defensive lineman Dan Hampton and former linebacker Doug Buffone.
Fans even made sure to not step onto the big “C” on the floor, in case they had any superstitions like the Blackhawks do.
LifeSource partners with many of the Chicago sports teams for blood drives in addition to maintaing 18 Chicagoland donor centers. According to the LifeSource website, LifeSource must see 1000 donors each day to ensure an adequate blood supply for area patients in need of transfusions in the hospitals the blood center services.
In March, LifeSource will partner again with the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, March 22 and with the Chicago Wolves just a few days later on March 25. Locations and additional details are below. In order to donate, you must call the listed numbers to make an appointment.
Chicago Blackhawks Blood Drive
Saturday, March 22, 2014
Intercontinental Chicago O’Hare
5300 N. River Road
1909 Spring Road
Oak Brook, 60523
Appointments: (877) 543-3768
Chicago Wolves Blood Drive
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Noon – 7 p.m.
Allstate Arena – Skyline Room
10401 Lunt St.
Appointments: (877) 543-3768
Follow LifeSource on Twitter to stay on top of all the upcoming drives and join the life-supporting team to help make a difference in patients in need by giving them strength, hope and courage through your donation.