Blood donations from healthy, volunteer blood donors are vital to maintaining the blood supply in our community. Virginia Gay Hospital partners with LifeServe Blood Center to host a drive in Vinton every other month. Because of the generosity of several local heroes, the most recent blood drive held on Tuesday, January 23 was a great success.

The goal was to collect 18 units, and the Vinton community exceeded expectations with a turnout of 24 donors. As many as 69 lives will be saved from those donations. The list of donors included four first time donors, one of which was Lu Karr.

“As a cancer survivor,” explained Lu, “I was aware of some restrictions in donating blood, but I learned I was OK to donate and my employer, Storey Kenworthy, had a goal that 30% of their employees would donate blood in January. My family and I have also received donated blood that was essential for our survival. Donating was easy, quick, and I’m going to be there next time because it’s a great feeling to know you’ve helped save someone’s life.”

Also participating in Tuesday’s blood drive was a veteran donor, Orville Bakenhus, who says, “Blood is needed. It’s something a lot of people could do, but many don’t. I’ve donated on and off for years as time as allowed. Now that I’m retired, I’ll continue to give as long as I am able.”

LifeServe Blood Center is a non-profit, community-based blood center that has served the needs of local hospitals and patients in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota since 1963. Community–based blood centers (like LifeServe) are unique because the blood they collect stays in the area where it was donated. Virginia Gay receives its blood from Life-Serve.

The next blood drive at Virginia Gay Hospital is scheduled for Tuesday, March 20, 2018. To schedule an appointment, please contact LifeServe Blood Center by calling 800.287.4903 or visit If you have eligibility questions, please contact their medical team at

For more photos and comments from blood donors at this event, visit the Virginia Gay Hospital Facebook page: To learn more about Virginia Gay Hospital, Clinics, Home Health, Nursing and Rehab and their commitment to local healthcare, please visit