Blood sure was moving at the Putnam Museum Friday, but it had nothing to do with the new “Bodies Revealed” exhibit.
The Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center hosted a blood drive at the Putnam Museum theater balcony.
Having the body exhibit downstairs and a blood drive upstairs seemed fitting to one donor.
“It’s like CSI or something,” said Brittany Wells of Davenport.
Wells, who was a walk-in donor at the museum’s blood drive in November, was motivated to come back to the drive Friday, especially for one reason.
“Really, a free movie ticket,” Wells said with a laugh. “I love to come see a movie. Last time, I saw the Meerkats movie. This time, I have no idea.”
Anyone who donated blood at the museum also received a voucher for a movie and a free T-shirt. While this was incentive enough for Wells, it had no bearing whatsoever for Kathy Bowers of Rock Island, who said she even lost her voucher from the last time she gave blood.
“I came out to help somebody out,” said Bowers, whose O-negative blood type can be received by all. “It’s the gift of life.”
Bowers said the few minutes it takes to give blood is worth it.
“It’s really painless considering what somebody else is going through that needs the blood,” she said. “You never know when you’re going to need it or when someone in your family’s going to need it. It’s something easy you can do to make a difference in somebody else’s life.”
Sharee Hoegerl, recruitment development coordinator at Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center, said she’s seen the impact blood donations have when she met a cancer patient who received blood.
“It made a big impression on me that it’s not just the patient whose lives we touch,” she said. “It impacts everybody in their circle of friends and family; they still had their spouse, their mom, their daughter.”
Hoegerl, who’s been at the blood center for 16 years, said blood donations tend to be slower during holidays and in the summer.
“The shelf life of blood is very short — platelets only have a shelf life five days — so it’s pretty critical that we come up with creative ways to get people in the door on holidays,” she said.
The goal of the drive Friday was to get 20 people to donate. Hoegerl said this could help up to 60 patients.
Hoegerl said she’s very thankful for all those who came out.
“It’s a worthy cause, for sure,” she said.