The following was provided by the Will County State's Attorney's office. The author, Charles B. Pelkie, is the office's director of public affairs.
Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow is pleased to announce that his office once again is partnering with Heartland Blood Centers and Joliet mom Jennifer Babec to host a blood drive in downtown Joliet.
The next Taylor Babec Community Blood Drive will be from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30 at the Will County State's Attorney's Office, 121 N. Chicago Street, across the street from the historic Rialto Square Theatre.
Anyone who works in or visits downtown Joliet is encouraged to take 30 minutes to donate blood on Jan. 30. Appointments can be made by calling Jennifer Babec at 815-325-4282 or by visiting Heartland Blood Centers at www.heartlandbc.org. Walk-in donors also are welcome.
“The State’s Attorney’s Office is an excellent location for a weekday blood drive because it’s in the heart of downtown Joliet,” Glasgow said. “Hundreds of people who work in or visit various government facilities, private offices and local restaurants walk by the office each day. I encourage employers to provide a little flexibility around breaks and during lunch to let people make what could be a lifesaving donation.”
Everyone who signs up to donate blood will receive a coupon for a free cup of soup or white bean turkey chili at The Department Restaurant, 205 N. Chicago St. Donuts and coffee will be available throughout the day.
“We are pleased to work with such great partners to provide blood for those in their time of need,” Glasgow said. “It’s gratifying that so many people who visit or work in downtown Joliet are willing to take a little time out of their busy day to help others right here in our community.”
The state’s attorney is coordinating the drive with Jennifer Babec, who is the top volunteer blood drive coordinator for Heartland Blood Centers. Jennifer, who lives in Joliet, has been coordinating drives with Heartland since 2008, shortly after her 5-year-old daughter, Taylor, was diagnosed with lymphoma. During Taylor’s three-year recovery, she required intensive chemotherapy treatments and 22 blood transfusions that would revive both her physical energy and her spirits.
Taylor's cancer is in remission. Jennifer, however, has continued to coordinate blood drives so there is an ample supply for other children who need life-saving transfusions. More than 800 donations have been collected during her local blood drives over the years. Heartland’s goal is to receive a minimum of 62 donations during the downtown Joliet blood drive.
“Jennifer and her family struggled through tough times during Taylor’s diagnosis and recovery,” Glasgow said. “This remarkable mother noticed how her daughter would bloom like a flower every time she received a blood transfusion. She is giving back to our community today by coordinating blood drives so that other children who are struggling through cancer treatments also have a chance to bloom.”
Heartland Blood Centers supplies blood to nearly 170,000 patients each year—people who lost blood during surgery or because of an accident, people who have cancer or severe anemia. Without our help, Heartland Blood Centers cannot meet the needs of these patients with the 600 pints that are required daily. Heartland is the sole provider of blood and blood products for Silver Cross Hospital and Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center.