Blood drive honors slain NIU students

By Zachary Brictson

Salem Lutheran Church will host a blood drive in honor of the NIU students who died in the Feb. 14, 2008 shootings.

This will be the third year the church has held the event, said Judy Bergeson, diaconal minister of Salem Lutheran Church. The drive will take place on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon at the church, 1145 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore.

Bergeson said walk-ins are welcome.

The blood drive will be facilitated by Heartland Blood Center, which has worked with the church in the past, said Jill Bernard, director of mobile recruitment for Heartland Blood Centers.

The winter has been tough for blood donation activity, Bernard said.

“The weather has impacted our collections, especially with the winter storms,” Bernard said.

Numerous blood drives have been canceled this month due to weather, which can also discourage people from going out and donating, Bernard said.

But there’s an additional incentive is available for donors, Bernard said. All donors in the month of February will receive a $5 gift card to Dunkin’ Donuts.

“We want to show our ongoing support to NIU students,” Bergeson said.

After the shootings, Bergeson said she and members of Salem Church were helping in any way they could.

Bergeson said continuing that effort is something the church felt was very important, and started an annual blood drive.

“We want to help people remember and honor those who lost their lives,” Bergeson said.