ALTON - Saving as many as three lives has never been so easy. 

This Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Roberts Motors, located at 4350 North Alby St., Alton hosted one of its several blood drives to encourage their customers and members around the community to donate to the life-saving cause. 

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"We always try to do what we can to help the community," Roberts Motors owner John Roberts said. "Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center contacted me a couple years ago and needed a place to go and it was just another way we could help out. We have several of these drives a year and they always do a great job."

Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Centers, or MVRBC, is a non-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization has regional distribution centers around the state of Illinois. The group is an exclusive provider for 86 hospitals around Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Wisconsin. Each year, the center handles more than 250,000 units of blood. When The blood collected within drives around the community typically stay within the region, helping area citizens in need. 

Chelsea Robertson, a phlebotomist with MVRBC, loves the opportunity to get out and help save lives within the community. 

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"I love meeting new people and seeing frequent donors," she said. "It's also great to know that we saved a great number of lives each day. Our goal was twelve donors and n the first two hours, we saw over 15 people."

"Donating blood is important because you never know who might need the life-saving service," she said. "It helps cancer patients and people in really bad accidents. Someday, you might need it or someone you love might need it.

"Supplies are normally quite low and you never know how much blood someone might need when something happens. Sometimes, you use as many as 11 units on one patient alone." 

It's easy to schedule an appointment to donate to MVRBC. You can schedule an appointment at and finding your closest blood drive. Organizations interested in hosting blood drives can also find resources on the site. 

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