Positively Richmond: Major milestone for Midas of Richmond blood drives

(Photo: Midas of Richmond)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The sound of air wrenches fills the air at Midas of Richmond. This place where tires are changed and oil is changed, lives are changed too.

“It was a knee jerk reaction to 911,” explains Owner Mark Smith. “We got in, people needed blood. We collected some blood not really knowing where it would go.”

Smith says the first blood drive he organized in 2001 evolved into a commitment to provide free oil changes to blood donors a few times a year.

Now Midas of Richmond is about to hold its 100th drive to provide medicine to people across Central Virginia.

“A lot of people don’t realize how often it’s needed and how routine it’s needed for cancer treatment and for trauma patients, patients with anemia. Just there’s so many ways that blood can be utilized,” says Michelle Westbay, a spokesperson for Virginia Blood Services.

Virginia Blood Services needs about 400 units a day to meet the needs of area hospitals and patients, and just one Midas event can collect that many or more.

“The blood supply now is lower than it’s ever been,” Smith says. “People aren’t donating as frequently, so we’re just trying to get the message out about what a critical gift blood can be.”

Midas of Richmond blood drives are 21,000 donations strong so far, and they now make up 2 1/2 percent of the region’s entire supply. For this 100th drive, they are hoping to have the best turnout yet.

“Roll up a sleeve and donate,” Westbay makes a plea to the community.

The 100th drive is May 20, 2017 from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at the following Midas of Richmond locations:

11463 West Broad Street, Short Pump
10160 Hull Street Road, Midlothian
1400 Boulevard, Colonial Heights

Appointments can also be made at four area Virginia Blood Services Donor Centers on Friday, Saturday or Sunday:

12212 Bermuda Crossroads Lane, Chester
9200 Arboretum Parkway, Suite 100, North Chesterfield
4040 Cox Road, Glen Allen
2825 Emerywood Parkway, Richmond

Anyone who donates for the 100th drive qualifies for a free oil change at Midas of Richmond.

Never miss another Facebook post from 8News.

Find 8News on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; send your news tips toiReport8@wric.com.