WILMINGTON -- A lot of Americans don't donate blood, and American Red Cross officials said that's because no one expects to need blood.
But, accidents happen, and the need for donations skyrockets going into the summer months.
Only 5% of Americans give blood, and until recently, WECT's Kristy Ondo was part of the other 95%.
Kristy was a little nervous the first time she gave blood, but Sharon Boynton, the collections technician, walked her through every step.
Sharon drew a road map on Kristy's arm to make sure she got the vein. Then, she applied some iodine to sterilize her arm.
Kristy watched as a pint of blood traveled through tubes into a collection bag, ready to be shipped to people with cancer, sickle cell anemia, or injuries from accidents.
Officials said one pint of blood could help save three lives, so why don't more people donate?
"There's always the fear of the unknown, and most of the time the fear is unjustified. People say, 'oh I didn't realize it would be so easy.' We have many people who are scared of needles but they give regularly. And it's not nearly as bad as what people think it is," said Sharon.
If the free drinks and cookies afterward aren't enough to motivate you to donate blood, think about how much your 15 minutes could do for someone else.
"Right now there is no replacement for blood. The only thing we have when people are bleeding and losing blood is blood that is given by somebody else," said Sharon.
Interested in Donating Blood?
American Red Cross
Web site: http://www.arccapefear.org
Reported by Kristy Ondo