One Maryville couple has donated 30 gallons of blood between the two of them, a grand total that has the potential of helping about 720 people.
It’s taken him more than 40 years of donating, but Jim Wolters, 68, has given 25 gallons on his own.
“I’m just blessed to be able to help somebody out,” he said.
Wolters jokes that he feels “lighter” because he donates.
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“I always get a kick out of this. See, this is my 200th unit. Each unit weighs about a pound. I weigh about 185 ... so if I didn’t give blood, I’d weigh 385,” he said while giving blood Tuesday afternoon.
His wife, Carol, 65, has donated 5 gallons. She has the universal blood type O negative.
“I feel like I really have done something worthwhile for some people,” she said. “Every time you give blood, you’re helping maybe three extra people. That, to me, is nice to know.”
According to the American Red Cross, one pint of blood can help up to three people. The Wolters have donated 240 pints.
“I guess that’s an accomplishment,” Jim Wolters said.
They’ve been frequent visitors of the Collinsville Knights of Columbus American Red Cross blood drives, where they have been donating together for almost 10 years. It’s become a routine for the couple.
“It’s almost like it’s, ‘Hey, it’s time (to give) blood.’ We mark our calendars and save somebody’s life,” Jim Wolters said.
Jim Wolters said he donates “as often as I can,” which is about six times each year at the Collinsville KC Hall at 1 Columbus Plaza.
“I’m glad I can do it,” he said. “Hopefully I never need it.”
After being stuck with a needle for the 200th time Tuesday afternoon, Jim Wolters was all smiles.
“I feel better,” he said after filling his pint.
Contact reporter Lexi Cortes at email@example.com or 618-239-2514.
Want to donate?
Here’s a list of upcoming American Red Cross blood drives at the Collinsville Knights of Columbus Hall:
- 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25
- 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20
- 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 15