Vitalant open on Thanksgiving for blood donations

Pictured left to right are Veronica, Michael, and Nathan Lane, who recently donated at the Vitalant Glenview Donor Center.

Vitalant (formerly LifeSource) encourages both existing and first-time donors of all blood types to be extra thankful this holiday season and schedule a visit to its Naperville, Oak Lawn, Villa Park, or Gurnee community donation center on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28. All four centers will be open from 7 a.m. to noon.

Platelet donations, which are important in clotting and used with chemotherapy patients as well as traumas and surgeries, are especially requested because they only have a shelf life of five days.

The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is traditionally when blood donations are at their lowest levels of the year, both here in Chicagoland and throughout the country. Therefore, Vitalant’s management decided to open four donation centers for the first time on Thanksgiving Day. In addition, donation center staff volunteered to work the holiday to make the plan complete.

“Although many of us are able to take brief respites to celebrate the holidays, those who are in need of life-saving blood and platelet donations are not as fortunate,” said Vitalant Regional Director Eva Quinley. “We need people to come forward and donate at these centers on Thanksgiving morning to ensure a sufficient blood supply for critically ill patients across the area.”

All presenting Thanksgiving Day donors will receive a Vitalant insulated lunch bag, water bottle, and reusable straw in addition to a voucher for a free Papa John’s pizza and a certificate for a free pint of Culver’s frozen custard. This promotion is only valid on Thanksgiving Day at the four centers.

While walk-ins are always welcome, all are encouraged to schedule an appointment by visiting or calling (877) 258-4825. In preparation for their donation, donors are asked to eat well, stay hydrated and arrive with proper identification. A whole donation appointment takes about an hour (with the donation itself only around 10 minutes) while a platelet donation takes about two hours.