Thousands donate during Bleed Blue Blood Drive

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They rolled up their sleeves for a football and a good cause. 

More than 2,500 people participated in the annual Bleed Blue Blood Drive at Lucas Oil Stadium.

It might be football time for the little ones, but, it's "donation time" for these adults. 

"I think the fact that they get so many people who come out to donate," said Shelley Barnett. 

Shelley Barnett is just one of the people who signed up to donate blood at Lucas Oil Stadium Saturday. WTHR is a proud sponsor of the Bleed Blue Blood Drive. 

With a universal blood type, Barnett is a needed donor. Like most donors, there's a personal reason they roll up their sleeves to give.

"My grandmother did it, too. She died of cancer and it is a lot family that brought me to want to donate," Barnett said.

Cyndi Hurst donated after being inspired by the ChuckStrong campaign.

"When the girls at the football game shaved their heads for the coach, that is awesome. It takes a lot of guts to do something. Guys can easily do it. For a woman to do that, it really inspired me. This is the least I could do," she said.

While it may be the season of giving, that's not always the case when it comes to giving blood. That's why this blood drive during the holidays is so important.

"People are busy doing other things. They don't think about donating. They are also on vacation. This gets up through the holiday and into the new year," Byron Buhner with the Indiana Blood Center said.

The Bleed Blue Blood Drive is Indiana's largest single-day blood drive. It's a reminder for these donors to not take their health for granted. 

"I have my health and my healthy kids. I am proud to be a part of donating for this," said Hurst.