The Community Blood Bank is heading out into the community in hopes of reaching more donors to help the blood shortage crisis.

Wednesday, they set up outside the Erie County Courthouse in an effort to save lives.

“Donate blood, save lives.” That’s the main message here.

The blood supply is severely low and the amount of blood donors has significantly dropped.

One blood donation has the ability to save three lives.

Over the past several months, the number of donors showing up each day has gone down. This creates a struggle to meet the needs of local hospitals.

They said there is no substitute for blood, so they rely on volunteers to maintain a safe blood supply in the community.

“Through the summer, about 20 percent of our blood supply comes from local schools, from local high schools and colleges. We don’t have that supply during the summer time when the students are back in their homes and not at school,” said Richard l. Seymour, Community Blood Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania and Western New York.

He said right now, they are running on a one day supply of blood, and they would like to get as much blood as possible.

“Interestingly, 62 percent of the population are eligible to donate blood, yet here locally, we see less than two percent of people donating,” Seymour added.

He added that it is a rewarding experience helping lives in our own community.

“The Community Blood Bank, we are the exclusive blood supplier for 19 local hospitals throughout northwest PA and western New York,” said Seymour.

The blood donated stays right here in our community, and as one donor tells us, it’s actually saved a family member’s life.

“My parents reminded me that when my brother was born, he was 11 weeks premature and a blood transfusion saved his life. I try to keep that in mind and donate every eight weeks when I am eligible,” said Emily Killian, blood donor.

If you missed Wednesday’s bloodmobile at the courthouse, you’ll have another opportunity on Thursday, Sept. 8, outside UPMC Hamot from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.