ImpactLife Receives New Mobile Outreach Unit from Bridgeton Fund Grant

ImpactLife (formerly known as Mississippi Valley Regional Blood Center) provides lifesaving blood products to more than 125 hospitals across four states. Locally, ImpactLife services 25 hospitals, including the SSM Health Network. 

Each year, ImpactLife teams with thousands of blood donors and hundreds of community partners to help save lives through blood drives. In 2021, ImpactLife hosted over 5,000 mobile blood drives, which collected over 93,000 lifesaving units of blood.  

ImpactLife received a grant from the Bridgeton Landfill Community Project Fund to fund a new mobile outreach unit dedicated to Red4Life, their sickle cell awareness program. The Bridgeton Fund was established in July 2018 with $12.5 million from a legal settlement between the State of Missouri and Republic Services, Allied Services, and Bridgeton Landfill, Grants from the fund supported nonprofit initiatives within a four-mile radius of the Bridgeton Landfill that contribute to the betterment of the environment, health, and safety of the communities within that area. 

The Red4Life program seeks to identify blood donors who are a match with sickle cell anemia patients. Sickle cell disease is a group of inherited red blood cell disorders that affects hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen to the body. In sickle cell disease, the red blood cells are shaped like sickles or crescent moons, causing chronic pain throughout the body. One in 13 African Americans carry the sickle cell trait. Select rare blood types that are more generally found in African American donors are needed to support patients with sickle cell disease. 

Now that the new mobile outreach unit—a state-of-the-art bus—has arrived, ImpactLife can travel into communities and host blood drives in areas where there would otherwise be no indoor space. “I was very excited when we were awarded the funding,” said Andrea Cole, Manager of Donor Relations Metro St. Louis. “The more often we can go out into community, the better. Now we won’t have to say no when someone wants to host a blood drive but doesn’t have the space.” 

ImpactLife is currently experiencing an urgent need for all donations and blood types.  

“We are trying to educate people on the importance of donating blood. Blood cannot be manufactured, so we must have volunteer donations. We can change the world together by donating blood and helping to save lives,” said Cole.  

Click here to learn more about becoming a blood donor. 

Click here to schedule a donation. 

Click here to learn about hosting a blood drive.