Local woman partners with LifeShare to host blood drives in her community

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(KLFY)- Some blood banks are feeling the effects of the pandemic, and a local businesswoman is doing something about it.

“It’s heartwarming, it’s encouraging, it’s amazing. A lot of times you don’t know the small seed you plant that could possibly grow into a tree. A lot of donors, a lot of community support,” Opelousas native, Shawana Johnson, says.

Johnson is giving back and providing help to those in her Opelousas community.

She partnered with LifeShare Blood Center and hosts blood drives every two months.

Johnson says it was her father’s cancer diagnosis as well as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that motivated her to help others in need.

“We decided we were going to do a blood drive after my dad was diagnosis with stage 4 cancer. We wanted to provide the community with something the community need,” continues Johnson.

The success of the blood drives would not be possible without the ongoing support of those in the community, Johnson said.

“The outpour is incredible. This is our 5th blood drive. We have collected 73 units. 36 of our donors were first-timers. They always continue to come back.”

She says there is no end in sight and explains the blood drives will continue and reminds everyone that one donation can save 3 lives.

“There is a need especially within our community. Sickle cell patients, cancer patients, and in St. Landry Parish gun violence,” Johnson said.

LifeShare Blood Center

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