UMW News BureauThe University of Montana Western will be hosting blood drives on Feb. 4 with more to follow throughout the spring semester. By Wally Feldt [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="250" caption="Brooke and Collin Erb."][/caption] The Erb family of Dillon, Mont. has good reason to feel strongly about blood donation; as a premature baby in 1983, Collin Erb received two blood transfusions within the first six weeks of his life. The experience had a huge impact on the family and Collin and his mother, Brooke Erb, have donated blood regularly ever since. United Way will feature the Erbs’ story in the organization's publication "Lifeline," an e-newsletter distributed to United Way blood drive coordinators around the United States. According to American Red Cross, less than 38 percent of the United States population is eligible to donate blood, yet out of that number, only five percent actually do. In contrast to this, the number of people needing blood transfusions rises nine percent each year. “If you are eligible,” Collin Erb asked, “why wouldn’t you donate? It is a good cause that saves lives.” The University of Montana Western will be hosting blood drives on Feb. 4 with more to follow throughout the spring semester. The blood drives are sponsored as community service activities by Montana Western Health and Human Performance (HHP) courses and the campus Humans in Performance club, which promotes the fields of health, physical education, recreation, and dance. “They are designed to promote participation in civic-minded activities and give students an appreciation for the roles volunteers play to ensure non-profit agencies are able to have successful events in a community,” HHP professor and athletic trainer Janelle Handlos said. To schedule an appointment or if you have any questions, call Janelle Handlos at (406) 683-7391. Appointments for the Feb. 4 and April 8 drives can also be made at www.bloodhero.com The schedule for all upcoming blood drives is: Feb. 4, 2010 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Facilitated by United Blood Services. March 31, 2010 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Facilitated by American Red Cross. April 8, 2010 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Facilitated by United Blood Services. All drives will be held in the University of Montana Western Keltz arena.