Stacy Wolak calls herself the poster child for the blood bank. And she literally IS on a poster that greets you when you enter the Peoria Impact Life Blood Center.
The photo was taken in 2020 when the Mississippi Valley Blood Bank, now Impact Life, moved to Peoria. “I’d always given blood – since my 20’s, I think – so having a center close to where I work was a game changer.” Prior to donating at the Blood Bank, Stacy made donations through the American Red Cross located in downtown Peoria. She likes the convenience of Impact Life.
When she first started donating, it was an opportunity for Stacy and her dad to have a blood donation “date” every other month, a tradition they’ve recently revived. “It’s a good excuse for a daddy-daughter date,” she says. Sometimes, they even go to breakfast afterwards.
Stacy’s dad is now 71. Over the years, he and Stacy have helped the community in other ways. They have built wheel chair ramps together, for example, as a service to Advocates for Access and His Helping Hands.
Giving is a Big Part of Stacy’s Story
The concept of giving is just innately part of Stacy’s makeup. “I’ve always had a servant heart,” she says. “I graduated from Notre Dame high school, and we had to do 100 hours of community service. All mine went to Teen Needs Teens hotline.”
She adds, “I always enjoyed serving, and giving blood is such an easy way to give back.”
Over the years, she’s taken part in mission trips to Brazil, Africa, Haiti and India. Stacy is a wish granter for Make A Wish Illinois and a Rotary Club member for more than 10 years. She’s also volunteered for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA).
Today, Stacy, an INB mortgage lender, donates blood as often as the blood center will allow: 5-6 times a year. She always encourages other people to go with her when she donates. For example, a realtor joined her once.
To help the Blood Center get up and running when they moved to Peoria, Stacy introduced the director to her local contacts such as Rotary members and realtors. One day during a donation, the organization asked if they could take her photo and use it in marketing. “I didn’t know they were going to use it for a mailing until a friend got one in the mail!” And then there’s the poster on the wall of the blood bank!
INB encourages employees to give blood by giving them paid time off to make the donation.
Stacy’s NMLS number is 689948.