Dr. Charles Maddux may still have only just finished medical school, but he's already saving lives in Kansas City.
"I've seen blood save people's lives, and every little bit helps," he explained.
Especially when it comes to helping KC's blood reserves that can be used in case of an emergency - like a serious car accident, catastrophic weather event - or worse - a terror attack like what we saw in Florida over the weekend.
"What if you need blood? What if a loved one that you know needs blood? You want to be there for someone else because it's their loved ones. It could be you," said Maddux.
While the attack in Orlando is on the minds of many donors, the American Red Cross said the need for blood donations is nothing new. You see blood stores always drop to critical levels this time of the year because hospitals need more blood during the summer months but fewer people donate.
"Until it affects you, you really don't realize the importance, but there are so many people out there, cancer victims, accident victims, burn victims who do need help," explained Diana san Roman with the American Red Cross. "It's a good feeling to know that you take less than an hour of your time and you are actually saving up to three lives - plasma, platelets and red blood cells. There is always someone in need."
Tuesday was World Donor Day, a time blood donation agencies raise awareness about the lifesaving importance of donating blood, even if it's only once per year.
The American Red Cross says the entire process of filling out paperwork to donating blood to having a light snack on site takes less than half an hour. The actual blood donation process only takes six to 10 minutes. Each donor fills a plastic bag with one pint of blood. That pint has the ability to save three lives.
The American Red Cross is holding a mega donation event this weekend. All donors will receive a free ticket to the Kansas City Zoo as well as a free ticket to Worlds of Fun.
- WHEN: Saturday, June 18
- TIME: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- WHERE: Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, MO
- HOW: Give blood and get one free ticket to the KC Zoo and one free ticket to Worlds of Fun.
Terra Hall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.