LA CROSSE, WI -

The BloodCenter of Wisconsin says it exceeded its goal during its three-day emergency blood donation appeal.

More than 1,250 people donated, included 530 first-time donor, making this “one of the greatest community responses BloodCenter has ever seen.” They hoped at least 1,000 people would donate.

“BloodCenter would not be able to fulfill its mission of saving lives without the kind of support demonstrated by the community this week,” said Dr. Jerry Gottschall, BloodCenter senior medical director. “On behalf of the patients whose lives have been touched, our deepest gratitude goes out to all who responded to the appeal.”

In La Crosse, 196 people donated blood on Wednesday. They collected more than 170 units. The BloodCenter of Wisconsin La Crosse Donor Center says they don't have the numbers from Thursday, but they expect it to match Wednesday's numbers.

While the emergency appeal is over, BloodCenter says they need to get at least 800 donors each day in order to fill the need for the countless patients whose lives may depend on them. BloodCenter of Wisconsin is the only provider of blood to hospitals in 29 Wisconisn counties, as well as providing support to hospitals and patients across the country.