The “Give Back and Go Green” program now underway with Davenport-based ImpactLife is on track to plant well over 10,000 trees.

The blood provider is working with the National Forest Foundation to support reforestation by planting a tree on behalf of donors who come to give blood from March 21 through May 15, according to a Wednesday release from ImpactLife. During the “Give Back and Go Green” program, all presenting donors are given a voucher to redeem for a gift card and a tree to be planted by National Forest Foundation on their behalf. 

You can give blood and go green in a special ImpactLife promotion on Earth Day April 22, and every day through May 15.

Amanda Hess, Vice President, Donor Relations and Marketing, says the first-time program is a great fit for ImpactLife. “We’ve had donors come in specifically to help patients, but also really excited knowing their donation is also going to help plant a tree,” she said in the release.

The effort is part of a larger strategy to engage donors not only to help the blood supply but because their donation supports other causes important to the donor. Bill Block, President and CEO of Blood Centers of America (BCA), describes the initiative as a “win-win.”

“If we can get donors to come to help patients and because they can also help reduce the carbon footprint by planting these trees, that’s a fantastic win-win all the way around,” Block said, noting BCA is working to establish similar opportunities between tree planting organizations and blood centers on a national scale.

Through the “Give Back and Go Green” program, the National Forest Foundation will plant one tree in a U.S. national forest for every ImpactLife blood donor who attempts to donate and redeems their voucher.

“We’re proud to be among the first blood centers in the U.S. to support reforestation with the National Forest Foundation, and we’ve been pleased to see a much needed and very positive response from blood donors,” ImpactLife spokesman Kirby Winn said Wednesday.

ImpactLife expects to plant over 10,000 trees with the National Forest Foundation with its partnership through May 15.

“The National Forest Foundation is excited to be partnering with ImpactLife to plant trees on a national forest in need of reforestation,” said Abby Schembra, Reforestation Partnerships Associate with the NFF. “This partnership is unique because of the impact you can make in the communities around you AND on national forests.

Rich Patterson of Cedar Rapids, a naturalist and frequent blood donor, recently gave blood for the 100th time. Patterson (former executive director of Indian Creek Nature Center there) has personal experience planting trees in U.S. national forests in the 1970s.

Recalling the dry, dusty soil on the mountains, Patterson said it seemed the seedlings “…had no chance. But that environment is what they like. And I went back years later, and they were strong, healthy trees. We need to take good care of our Earth and steward it. It’s the only planet we have.” 

When you give blood, you can have a tree planted in a national forest.

Donors scheduled for whole blood donation will also receive an electronic gift card valued at $10 from their choice of vendors. Donors giving via automated collection procedures (platelets, plasma, and double red cells) will receive an electronic gift card valued at $25. Donors can redeem their voucher for e-gift cards from Amazon, The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Target, Subway, Starbucks, or Walmart.

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) works on behalf of the American public to inspire personal and meaningful connections to national forests, the centerpiece of America’s public lands. The NFF leads conservation efforts and promotes responsible recreation on America’s 193 million acres of national forests.

To schedule an appointment for donation, call 800-747-5401, schedule online at www.bloodcenter.org, or via the ImpactLife mobile app (www.bloodcenter.org/app).