CHICAGO - Many answered the call for blood donations to help out during the pandemic, but now, as life returns to normal, donations are dropping.
On Wednesday, at the popular tourist attraction Navy Pier, volunteers were trying to attract blood donations.
"I like to donate because I thought I should be giving back to the community, so they've been sending me emails saying there's been a big shortage of blood donations so I signed up and came out today," said Kevin Bowen, who gladly offered an arm.
The shortage is now considered "severe," so Navy Pier teamed up with the American Red Cross to host a blood drive.
"[The shortage] is nationwide, and it's not just Chicago, but this is the first time that we've been under a shortage since the pandemic hit," said Terri Varney from the American Red Cross.
The blood drive at Navy Pier had some serious competition on a beautiful day with people ready to enjoy summer now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased.
"I think now everyone's getting back to the swing of things, back to their busy lives and it's summer time, people are having fun on their vacation and we're just not seeing as much turnout as we usually would," said Varney.
In the Navy Pier ballroom, donors were trickling in.
But Breanne Babb showed up, despite some misgivings.
"I have a phobia of needles, and so this is not something that I would picture myself doing, but the finger prick is the worst part, and the actual giving is the best. I mean it's easy, so might as well give back," said Babb.
If you missed the Navy Pier blood drive, there are others every day, without the iconic back drop.
Go to redcrossblood.org for more information.