KRFO/Kat Kountry 105 ad exec Rich Will has been donating blood for a long time.

"Thirty years," Will says.

He started off donating in Sioux Falls when he lived in that area. Since moving to Owatonna, he donates at American Red Cross blood drives. He said today's donation has brought him up to 8 gallons of blood donated in the past 19 years.

I went along with Will during a recent Red Cross blood drive at St. Joseph's Church in Owatonna to see what it's all about.

Will had preregistered for a specific donation time the previous time he donated. But walk-ins are welcome.

After checking in and reading through an informational booklet, we had a short wait before Will was called back for a quick check of his temperature, blood pressure, pulse and iron levels, as well as to complete a standard questionnaire. Then he was brought to an adjustable exam table and asked whether he has a preference of arm to use.

Brittany the phlebotomist verified his name and birthdate, then prepared the bag and some tubes for the blood collection. After a few squeezes of a red rubber ball and some lines drawn with marker on Will's arm, she was swabbing his arm with iodine and then inserting the needle.

Five minutes later, Brittany removed the needle and taped up Will's arm. A quick stop for a snack and to preregister for the next blood drive, and we were out the door. The whole process from registration to exit took just over an hour.

The Red Cross website says one donation can help up to three people. Each pint of donated blood can be separated into platelets, plasma and red cells. To learn more about donating blood and how it is used, as well to sign up as a donor, visit the Red Cross website.

Find a list of area blood drives, visit and click the Events tab.