OSCEOLA COUNTY — The American Red Cross encourages eligible blood donors to make a difference in the lives of patients this spring by giving blood.

Donated blood is perishable and must be constantly replenished to keep up with the demand. Red blood cells, with a shelf life of only 42 days, are the most frequently transfused blood component and are always needed by hospitals.

Eligible donors can give red cells through either a regular whole blood donation or a double red cell donation, where available. Double red cell donations yield twice the usual amount of red cells in a single appointment and are accepted at select donation locations. Double red cell donors must meet additional eligibility criteria, which will be determined at the donation sites. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, A negative and B negative. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days, and double red cells may be donated every 112 days, up to three times per year.

To find a donation opportunity or make an appointment to give blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Here is a list of upcoming blood drives in Osceola and Mecosta counties:

  • From 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, at Pine River High School, located at 17445 Pine River School Road in LeRoy
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Monday, April 27, at First United Methodist Church, located at 304 Elm St. in Big Rapids
  • From 1 to 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 28, at the Stanwood Eagles, located at 7200 Stanwood Road in Stanwood
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m., on Wednesday, April 29, at Evart United Methodist Church, located at 619 Cherry St. in Evart