February 21, 2020

Blood donations are needed in Michigan

Local organizations encourage giving by hosting blood drives.


Northern Michigan — January is National Blood Donor Month. Donations are typically down this time of year so local drives are scheduled in early winter to help promote giving. “Our National Honor Society/Student Senate group does 3 or 4 blood drives every school year,  said Raquel Rondo of Mio AuSable Schools. “I've been involved in the drives here for quite a few years now.  This is how the graduating seniors earn their blood drive graduation cords and can also apply for the blood drive scholarships for graduation, by being involved in our blood drives.”

Getting new donors is important. Once a person has successfully and comfortably donated, they are more likely to become a repeat donor. “The Standish-Sterling Central Chapter of National Honor Society hosts four times a year,” said Troy Kilgus of Standish-Sterling High School. “We have three during the school year and one in June. The NHS students find donors and help run all the blood drives including helping check in, sitting at the post donation table, and signing donors up for future drives.” 

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan issued an emergency appeal for blood donations last week. Ideally, Versiti has from three to five days of blood donations available for the hospitals it supplies. As of Jan. 8, Michigan’s blood supply is currently at less than a half-day’s supply. 

“All blood types are needed, especially O-negative and O-positive types. O-negative donors are universal blood donors, meaning their red blood cells can be transfused to all patients,” said Versiti Blood Center of Michigan Area Vice President Dawn Kaiser.

The need for blood donations doesn’t end with Blood Donor Month. “This February’s drive will be the second blood drive we have done at the church, said Jacqui Sholes of Faith Alive Church. “FAC will most likely do one or two a year.”

Donating blood takes about an hour. Bring a photo ID that includes the birth date because of age requirements. Anyone age 17 or older in good health who meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to give. 16-year-olds can donate blood if they have parental consent. 

 “With high schools and colleges on break, families enjoying the holidays and flu spreading throughout Michigan in December, donations were low. Now, we’re in dire need of blood donations,” Kaiser said. “People battling cancer, surgery patients and victims of trauma need blood every day – in fact, every two seconds, someone needs blood. We’re encouraging neighbors throughout the state to answer the call and help save lives now with the generous, selfless and life-saving blood donations.”

Friday, Jan. 24, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. at Standish Sterling Central High School in the gym. 2401 Grove Rd., Standish, MI 48658.

Monday, Jan. 27, 11 a.m. - 05:00 p.m. at Mio AuSable High School in the wrestling room. 1110 W 8th St., Mio, MI 48647.
Monday, Jan. 27, 2-7 p.m. Kittle Community at Mio Elmer Township Hall, 863 W. Kittle Rd, Mio, MI 48647.
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 1-5:45 p.m. at Holy Family Parish. 402 W. Peters Rd., West Branch, MI 48661.
Friday, Feb. 07, 10:55 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Faith Alive Church in the Fellowship Hall. 2945 Hansen Rd, West Branch, MI 48661.


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