Blood donations are needed across the country right now, and in King County, the blood supply is at a critical level.
“Every two seconds, somebody in our region needs blood,” said Debbie Friend Wilson, Seattle area restaurant co-owner. “It takes 1,000 donors a day to keep our supply where it needs to be at a safe level.”
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted blood donations and the blood supply. King County currently operates on just a one-to-two-day supply and is down 35 percent to pre-COVID levels.
A coalition of restaurant professionals, chefs, and hospitality professionals are joining together with Bloodworks NW to get the word out and inspire community action.
“Restaurants are hubs of communities, so the coalition really gets the word out and brings our team members, but also brings our community, into the fold in trying to raise awareness,” said Jason Wilson, chef and restaurant co-owner. “We want to raise that participation level up to 10,000 new and engaged donors again.”
Customers dining at participating restaurants will learn more about the need for blood donations and are encouraged to “Savor Life and Save a Life.” Diners who then donate blood will be entered to win interactive drinking and dining experiences.
“We get to donate blood,” Wilson said. “We get to be part of the action call, and we also get to work together as restaurant professionals and real passionate people.”
The Wilsons’ restaurant is committed to the health and well-being of its staff and supporting mental health wellness.
“How it relates to blood donation is we really encourage a sense of community and connection and giving,” Friend Wilson said.
The Wilsons both have personal experiences with life-saving blood donation. Jason had a complex heart procedure and Debbie had a complicated delivery during the birth of their child.
“It wasn’t even something that I thought about,” Friend Wilson said. “I took for granted that, of course, blood would be there. I think that’s the point of this. You just don’t know when you’re going to need it.”
Visit the Bloodworks NW website to make an appointment to give blood. Even if appointments aren’t available immediately, the need is still there for the weeks and months to come. You can also call 800-398-7888 to talk through appointment options.