'It does make a significant impact': Man visits Wisconsin on quest to donate blood in all 50 states

NOW: ’It does make a significant impact’: Man visits Wisconsin on quest to donate blood in all 50 states

PEWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) – Vinton Smith is on a mission to make a difference.

He visited Wisconsin Monday from his home in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, for his quest to donate blood in all 50 states.

"I've donated actually whole blood in Wisconsin twice, and this will be my second platelet donation in Wisconsin," Smith said Monday, while at the American Red Cross Donor Center in Pewaukee.

Smith has been donating blood regularly since 1988, but his cross-country journey started in 2008, partially on accident.

"I would donate wherever I was traveling for business. After three years, I had donated blood in 16 different states," Smith said.

Since then, he has donated blood in 48 states, with Alaska and Hawaii left.

He has donated platelets in 23 states and hopes to get to all 50.

One blood donation can save up to three lives, but Smith stresses that the impact is much larger.

"Taking a few moments of our life to donate blood or platelets can fill another's life full of moments that would have been lost forever," he said.

If you're ready to donate blood, American Red Cross says now is a great time, as early summer donations help create a steady supply.

"During the summer months we always see a bit of dip, because people get busy with donations, their schedules are a little bit different," explained Jen Warren, the regional communications director for American Red Cross of Wisconsin.

Smith hopes sharing his story inspires more donations coast to coast.

"If someone's healthy and able to donate, I really encourage them to consider it, because it does make a significant impact on others' lives," he said.

Click here to learn more about American Red Cross blood donations.

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