‘Flying for Life’ event benefits Community Blood Bank

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – A friendly competition is benefiting the area’s blood supply. The “Flying for Life” blood drive kicked off earlier this week.

It’s Alyson Kramer’s first time donating blood.

“There’s been a lot of talk around here about the need for donors, really throughout the entire pandemic, but I also learned that there is a challenge going on between Sanford AirMed and Avera flight team and I can’t pass up a good challenge,” first time donor, Sanford employee, Alyson Kramer said.

Community Blood Bank says there is a big need for donations. That’s why Sanford AirMed and Avera Careflight are competing to see who can get the most blood donations.

“We’ve been in critical need status for quite some time and they wanted to do something to create awareness and create some fun while people are donating,” executive director of Community Blood Bank, Ken Versteeg said.

Flight crews carry units of blood on every single flight.

“We do over 2,000 flights a year here in Sioux Falls and then take care of a whole host of different patients, whether it be accidents, medical problems,” manager Sanford AirMed, Greg Vandenberg said. “If someone has an internal bleeding problem that isn’t necessarily dealt with an accident, but something to do with a medical problem, the blood in their body is just going to decrease, so to have the replacement available, it puts their body back in a status it should be.”

No matter where you decide to donate, you can make a big difference in someone’s life.

“We are in such a dire need right now throughout our entire community, so whether it’s through Sanford or Avera, I think it’s very important right now to get out and donate,” Kramer said.

Starting Thursday there will be community blood drive events where donors can choose which flight team they would like their donation to go to. You can find locations and times here.

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