HELENA — Jack Oberweiser has been giving blood for close to half a century. He started when he was in college and found out he had an O-negative blood type, also known as the universal blood type.
“I just started kind of looking at it as a badge of honor to be able to go help people giving blood,” says Oberweiser.
The retired Carroll College math professor and alum gives blood as often as he can. According to the Red Cross, Oberweiser has donated 66 units of blood which equates to around 9.9 gallons. During his time teaching he encouraged his students to also make donations.
“And I just tell students how easy it is and how important it could be,” says Oberweiser.
January is National Blood Donor Month. The month is an important reminder of the life-saving power of giving blood.
Oberweiser says that he gives because it’s such a simple yet effective way to make an impact in the world.
“For me because it's such an easy way to do something that I really believe in. It's not a hassle. Generally, the appointments are easy. You come down, people are ready for you. If you're afraid of needles they tell you to look the other way. It takes 10-15 minutes and you're done. And you've done something that really could seriously help people,” says Oberweiser.
In 2021 The Red Cross collected more than 4 and a half million blood donations. These donations helped provide over 6 million blood products to help patients.
Blood donations help save lives. And Red Cross Recruitment Specialist, Nona Keeler, says that they couldn’t do what they do without the donors.
“We cannot keep our hospitals supplied in the product that they need without people like Jack who step up and donate on a regular basis,” says Keeler.
Additionally, the Red Cross is partnering with the NFL this month. Anyone who donates blood this January will be automatically entered to win tickets to the upcoming Super Bowl.