The traveling Big Red Bus is a staple in the blood drives organized by OneBlood.

By Avery Ranieri

OneBlood, a national charity that saves lives each day, hosted a blood drive in Gibsonton on June 30 where each donor 16 and older received two free movie tickets for the AMC Riverview 14 GDX theater to any show of their choice. With approximately a month to attend the movie and no other general restriction, these individuals had first dibs on seeing some of the world’s most anticipated films. Not only were they gifted these tickets, but more importantly they also helped to gift life to people around the world.

OneBlood and its ongoing blood drives are an important part of the life-saving process. Hospitals in the area report how much blood they’re using and how much they need, and then OneBlood provides it to lower the prerequisite and the mortality rate, as one person’s donation saves up to three lives.

All OneBlood drives also tend to have some sort of trendy incentive for their donors, ranging from gift cards to concert tickets. As if this wasn’t enough, reduced risk of heart attacks and better overall health are only a few of the donor benefits. Regular blood donors who provide their email and phone number are even notified when their blood product is used. Of course, for whom and for what reason is kept anonymous, but donors can know when they have done the deed of saving the life of another.

The host of this particular blood drive, John-Michael Elms, a frequent donor himself, is proud of what these events produce. He also recognizes that it’s “hard for the blood bank to stay stocked.” It is true that the Tampa Bay area is one of the largest trauma centers in Florida, resulting in a lot of required blood products.

Elms stated, “Blood collected in the Tampa area is provided to hospitals in accordance with their demand.”

Yet, through the compassion of the community, blood transfusions around the world are safely accomplished due to charities such as OneBlood.

Elms also said, “The importance of donating blood is so that there are blood products available when someone has a need for treatment, whether it be an emergency or an enduring treatment.”

OneBlood’s main goal is to fund these tissue products to people all over the world to prevent any tragedy and to honor the community. To continue helping the cause, John-Michael Elms is partnering with OneBlood once more for a blood drive the first week of August at Bevis Elementary School, located at 5720 Osprey Ridge Dr. in Lithia.

If you would like more information on how to make a difference, visit and keep an eye out for the Big Red Bus — which is always a sign that a blood drive is happening near you.

Previous articleUSF Professor ‘Dr. Deep Sea’ Breaks World Records
Next articleFathers Lou And Josh Will Serve Their New Assignment At St. Stephen Catholic