More people donating plasma to earn extra money amid inflation, rising costs

Gas, groceries, and rent – the price of everything is going up leading some to find other ways to bring in extra cash.

"When it comes to bills, sometimes I'll be $50 short or $100 short," said Jael Rivera. So, he found what he calls a "simple solution" – selling his plasma.

Plasma is the liquid part of blood and contains vital proteins, according to the American Red Cross website, and is used to help patients suffering from shock, burns, and trauma.

Rivera said he earns anywhere from $75 to $150 a week by selling his plasma.

"That adds up to a pretty nice safety net, to have a little extra, to have as a safety net for when there is a need to have a little extra for bills and entertainment and gas," he said.

And he's not alone. A lot of people do it each week and in times when money is tight, such as the economic climate right now, more people see out ways to earn more money.

"We have countless people coming into our facilities saying it's really hard to make ends meet," said Dan Hernandez, the director of Octapharma Plasma in Orlando. The number of people donating has doubled over the last year, he said.

"Inflation. Everybody who comes here obviously they talk to us, and they tell us that it's difficult to make ends meet," he said.

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The amount you make varies by plasma company and locations. 

At Octapharma, new donors can receive $100 per donation for the first seven visits and can donate up to twice a week, which could amount to an additional $200.

"For their phone bills, for new car payments. Gas especially with gas inflation going up," said Hernandez, suggesting ways people could use that money.

Rivera said he used the money from his donations to take a trip to the Bahamas.

Octapharma said it is a win-win situation as people are saving lives while making some extra income on the side.

"Everybody, whether they need the medicine, or whether they need that extra money, they have an important role to play," said Hernandez.