Drives out for blood

Published 9:23 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The holiday season is in full swing and the tough Michigan winter season is quickly approaching. American Red Cross officials encourage all eligible donors to make and keep an appointment to donate blood while the weather permits safe travel.
“The Red Cross believes in being prepared and we need to prepare the blood supply for declining collections during the winter months,” said Sharon Jaksa, CEO for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “We want our donors to be safe and encourage them to donate while the weather conditions are good.”
The Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross needs to collect about 700 units of blood every day to meet the needs of hospital patients.  However, during the holiday season and winter months, people become busy with family activities or can’t make it out to donate because of poor weather conditions.
“Safety is our No. 1 concern,” said Jaksa. “But the need for blood never takes a holiday.  We need our donors now so that we don’t get into a critical situation when the weather conditions worsen.”
One blood donation can help save up to three lives.
Everyone who comes out to donate in December could win a $250 Meijer gift card, a $500 Best Buy gift card and one of 15 invitations to Sundance Chevrolet for a chance to win a 2012 Chevy Cruze. For more information on promotions, blood and platelet donation or to schedule a donation time visit call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
The following is a list of American Red Cross blood drives in the area:
Dec. 19 — Edwardsburg American Legion, Edwardsburg (1-6:45 p.m.)
Dec. 20 — Pleasant View Church of Christ, Cassopolis (noon-5:45 p.m.)
Dec. 23 — Holy Maternity of Mary Catholic Church, Dowagiac (noon-5:45 p.m.)
Jan. 3 — Buchanan Moose Lodge, Buchanan (noon-5:45 p.m.)

How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-REDCROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.  Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

About the American Red Cross
The Great Lakes Region serves 65 counties, and needs to collect about 700 units of blood a day to meet patient needs in hospitals across the state.  In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.