Vinton Smith Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

One Man's Journey is Another's Life Saved

Jan. 4, 2024

Vinton Smith is a man on mission to help others.
The Pennsylvania native has made whole blood donations in 47 states and platelet donations in 23. His goal is to make both a whole blood donation and a platelet donation in every state.
Vinton was at Kentucky Blood Center on Thursday to cross Kentucky off his platelet list.
"It's a very simple way to help others," Vinton said. "Taking a few moments of our life to give back a lifetime of moments for other people, it has a profound impact on other people."
Vinton first started donating in high school 35 years ago. He grew up watching his dad give blood and said he was inspired by his parents, who both frequently gave back to the community. 
When Vinton took a new job 15 years ago that required a lot of travel, he didn't want his location to get in the way of his mission to save lives.
After bouncing around from state to state for three years, Vinton realized he had donated in 16 different states. That's when he thought to himself, let's go for all 50.
Although work doesn't take him around to as many places as it used to, Vinton has given blood in so many states that he now goes out of his way to get closer to reaching his goal, even strategically scheduling vacations in places he can make a new donation. 
“When I stop and I think about what motivates me to continue to donate blood, it’s realizing there are people that are alive today because of the time I took to donate blood or platelets," Vinton said.
Vinton alone has saved hundreds of lives on his travel journey alone, and that doesn't even include the donations he's made at his local center in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
He gets personal satisfaction from helping other people, but Vinton hopes other people will see his mission and find inspiration to give blood.
"I think if others would stop to think about the impact they'd have on other lives, they'd be inspired to do the same and donate," Vinton said. 
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About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.