LifeSource recently recognized its "Top 20" local businesses and organizations that coordinated blood drive programs over the last year, collecting 17,326 units of blood and impacting 51,978 lives.
Twenty-five area groups representing the military, public safety, corporate, academic, community and athletic sectors were honored by LifeSource at a luncheon held November 9 at the Fountain Blue Banquets Conference Center in Des Plaines.
Serving as keynote speaker was Judy Socha, a 1989 recipient of the American Association of Blood Banks' national award for outstanding recruiting and whose Addison community group collected 326 pints of blood this past year.
Socha began hosting drives when her son, Ricky, had been diagnosed with leukemia in 1971. Her first blood drive that year brought in 112 pints. And while it's been 42 years since her son's passing, Socha's passion for blood donation hasn't wavered a bit.
The Department of Defense based at Naval Station Great Lakes was named LifeSource's top-generating blood drive producer. Blood drives coordinated by its military staff members and volunteers in 2017 resulted in a total of 3,086 units of blood collected. The group has consistently held the number one title since the inception of the awards luncheon.
Building operation management company BOMA Chicago generated the second highest blood donation tally, with 1,861 units of blood collected, while a coalition of suburban fire departments known as the "Firefighter Blood Donor Program" brought in the third highest blood collection totals with 1,605 units collected.
Additional top-ranking groups included the Chicago Blackhawks (990 units), Baxter International (828 units) and AbbVie (712 units).
"It's important to take a moment from our busy lives and pay homage to the people and organizations that help us maintain our blood supply," said Eva Quinley, LifeSource Regional Director. "These are the groups that quietly go about helping us by hosting multiple blood drives throughout the year, and we continue to be humbled by their passionate efforts to support area lives."
LifeSource's "Top 20" list for 2017
1. Department of Defense, 3,086 units
2. BOMA Chicago, 1,861 units
3. Firefighter Blood Program, 1,605 units
4. Chicago Blackhawks, 990 units
5. Baxter International, 828 units
6. AbbVie, 712 units
7. Advocate Health Care, 681 units
8. Chicago Bears, 651 units
9. Abbott, 610 units
10. City of Chicago (employees), 555 units
11. Allstate Insurance, 494 units
12. JP Morgan Chase, 489 units
13. Westchester Community, 442 units
14. Navistar, 441 units
15. University of Illinois at Chicago, 438 units
16. Oakton Community College, 409 units
17. Northwestern University, 382 units
18. Comcast, 353 units
19. Saint Agnes of Bohemia, 344 units
20. Buffalo Grove Community, 334 units
Hollywood Boulevard, 330 units
Addison Community, 326 units
Harper College, 325 units
Elgin Community College, 324 units
Mount Prospect Community, 316 units
Along with hosting daily blood drives, LifeSource operates 17 community donor centers throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
Established in 1987 and a business unit of The Institute for Transfusion Medicine, LifeSource is a nonprofit organization and one of the largest blood centers in Illinois. LifeSource provides blood products and transfusion-related services to hospitals in the Chicagoland area. For more information, go to lifesource.org or visit us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @LifeSourceOrg.