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BOONE COUNTY — A local woman hosts a regular blood drive for the people in Boone County. This comes as the American Red Cross is experiencing a critical blood shortage. 

She hosts the drive every two months so people in her area can have easy access to give.  

“I know everything is staying local, and I’m helping people who might have been injured or need blood here in my community, here in Indianapolis,” said blood drive organizer Susan Ottinger. 

“If I could schedule one every two months then I could give regular, I won’t have to drive all over town. It should be easier to give blood when I can and not have to drive over kingdom come. We’ve got a community that’s big enough to cover this blood drive.” 

She started it for her 50th birthday but kept it going because she noticed there wasn’t a regular blood drive in her area of Boone County. 

Instead of presents, Susan wanted to collect 50 pints of blood for the American Red Cross. She ended up collecting 63 pints her first time and she’s kept it going since then. 

Most recently in 2021, she hosted 9 drives at the Whitestown Municipal Complex. They collected 334 units of blood total. With each pint helping up to three people in need, they potentially helped over a thousand people in the community. 

“I’ve always been a big advocate for giving back to my community. And this is just one way I can do it that’s simple and easy. And whenever I talk to other blood donors, they’re really glad to have a local blood drive that they know is going to be here every two months.” 

She says she’s noticed people honor their word more now during the pandemic than before. 

“Say if I have 50 appointments in the blood drive 4 years ago it wouldn’t be uncommon for 10 people just to no show cause they got busy or they had other plans. Now, if I’ve got 50 appointments on a blood drive, 49 people show up to give and I’ve got people donating, coming by, walking in asking ‘can you take a walk-in.” 

On top of donating regularly, she also says people can host their own drive if they want. 

To host or find a drive near you, click here to visit the American Red Cross’ website and enter your zip code. 

There is also a drive happening Tuesday at the airport. Delta Air Lines is hosting a drive from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. in baggage claim. They are providing parking passes for the garage to all donors.