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Red Cross now accepting blood donations in Colorado; longtime donor shares motivation: "I know I'm helping somebody"

Colorado man discusses his mission to donate blood
Colorado man discusses his mission to donate blood 02:30

Red Cross Colorado has served our state for more than a century and supplies nearly 33,600 units of blood to 14 hospitals annually in Denver. And for the first time, the organization has a Blood Donation Center in the Denver metro area. 

The Colorado community is encouraged to consider donating blood to help save a life and make an impact.

  Howard Dykes donated his 40th gallon of blood.  CBS

Howard Dykes is a prime example of that impact. 

On Monday morning, Dykes drove from his home in Wyoming to give his 40th gallon, or 315th pint, of blood. 

"When I found out that they were opening this location today, I made it a point to be here. I drove down this morning, an hour and 45 minutes today," Dykes said.

His journey began 61 years ago, "My aunt worked the blood bank, and she called my mom or dad to see if they would donate. My dad wasn't available, and my mom said no. And my aunt said, 'What about Howard?' And so, I did. And when I got done, they gave me $20. And that was about a week before I was 17. I've donated every eight weeks, six times a year."

And since then, his impact has reached farther than he even knows.

"I'm 50. When I was 13, I received blood from Red Cross and I'm sure I got some of your blood and I greatly appreciate it," said Danuel Jones, as she drew Dykes' blood.


Thinking about the gravity of his giving stirs up emotions, to say the least. 

"About 10 years into donating, I pumped out a pint of blood," he recalled. "The highway patrol was sitting there, and they taped the box up. And they left with lights and sirens. They said it's going to Wheatland, Wyoming to save an RH factor baby."

Dykes is a universal donor with an O-negative blood type, so he says donating it's a must.

"I do it because it makes me feel better and I know I'm helping somebody."

Make an appointment to give blood

If you'd like to donate, the American Red Cross recommends making an appointment. You can call 1-800-RED CROSS or sign up online.

Blood drives will be taking place with American Red Cross partners including Denver Health and Lifetime Windows and Siding.

Lifetime Windows and Siding will hold a blood drive event on Tuesday, April 23 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Lifetime Showroom Lobby in Denver. That's located at 9525 East 40th Avenue. When registering for it at use the sponsor code: lifetimewindows.

"We couldn't be more excited to help support the mission. Lifetime invites everyone in the Denver area to join us in this noble cause. We also encourage like-minded businesses to get involved," said CoCo Criste, the Director of Public Relations and Community Engagement at Lifetime Windows and Siding.

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