Some in U.S. Giving Blood to Pay for Gas

With gas prices hovering around $4 or more a gallon nationwide, some in Ohio have resorted to giving blood to pay for gas, is reporting.

Business at the ZLB Plasma Service on Cleveland's near west side is booming. The company pays as much as $40 per visit for a donor's first four visits, less after that. Each person who donates plasma may do so no more than two times a week.

The waiting area is packed with people like Geanie Fox and her boyfriend. "I come here twice a week and I have to, because it’s like the only place we can get money quickly for gas." said Fox.

ZLB's parent company says donations are up, attributing the increase to what they call the economic downturn.

Tialiegh Henry said she just started donating plasma last week as gas prices take a bite out of her family’s budget.

"That was my reason for doing it," said Henry. "I just needed the money to fill up my gas tank."

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Elsewhere in the country, Arizona Blood Services is offering free gas to those who donate blood, the Arizona Daily Star reported last week.

“Blood donations historically decrease when people are traveling, often causing the blood supply to fall below safe levels,” said Debra Deininger, a spokeswoman for the Tucson American Red Cross. “We have projected that we will need to see 23,000 people donate blood now through Labor Day in order to maintain an adequate supply through summer.”