In support of World Blood Donor day fifty-two employees at Komatsu Mining Corp’s Milwaukee facility volunteered to save a life by participating in a blood drive to benefit long-time partner, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin. The drive exceeded its goals, helping 103 individuals in need.

Established by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004, World Blood Donor Day takes place on June 14 every year. The event serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. It is one of eight official global public health campaigns marked by WHO.

According to WHO, the organization aims for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors by 2020. In 2014, 60 countries have their national blood supplies based on 99-100% voluntary unpaid blood donations, with 73 countries still largely dependent on family and paid donors.

World Blood Donor Day is celebrated on the day of Karl Landsteiner’s birth, June 14, 1868. Landsteiner was an Austrian biologist, physician and immunologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1930 for his development of the modern system of classification of blood groups from his identification of the presence of agglutinins in the blood (the ABO group system).

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin states that “on any given day we need approximately 800 units to satisfy the need of medical centers located throughout the state.” The BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the exclusive provider of blood to hospitals in 30 Wisconsin counties and they work to advance patient care by delivering life-saving solutions grounded in unparalleled medical and scientific expertise.

The needs of a community are great. Blood donors help those with terminal illnesses, individuals undergoing surgery and those who in unforeseen accidents. Treatment is only possible with the support of individuals who volunteer to give the gift of life.

Hosting blood drives at facilities across the globe is a long tradition for Komatsu Mining Corp. It speaks to our commitment to support a safe, healthy and vibrant community for all.