American Red Cross encourages blood donations for spring break

OSCEOLA COUNTY — Although your sights may be set on warmer locales for spring break, you can bring sunshine and warmth to your life by simply volunteering to give blood or platelets through the American Red Cross.

“We know very few things compare to a burst of tropical sunshine after winter,” said Todd Kulman, Communications Program Manager for the Great Lakes Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “But we hear time and again about the good feeling people get when they realize they can help save a life by donating blood.”

Every day of every week, people need blood for emergency and ongoing medical care. It’s a need, Red Cross officials say, that doesn’t take a break, despite the season. About 44,000 blood donations are needed daily by hospital patients undergoing treatment for serious diseases like cancer and sickle cell, for surgery, and for trauma and burn care.

The challenge, Red Cross officials say, is that while blood needs are constant, blood donors sometimes take a break. Blood donors who would otherwise give may wait until later to make an appointment. Popular donation sites like schools, colleges and universities also typically avoid scheduling blood drives during spring break times, which can further erode blood donation opportunities. The Red Cross depends on student-age blood donors for about 20 percent of the community blood supply.

“Collecting blood from volunteer donors isn’t something that can be put on hold or caught up on later since the need for blood is constant,” said Kulman. “We’d like everyone who can to consider donating blood now or in the next few weeks to celebrate spring. It could be a great way to renew yourself, and to bring the gift of life to someone in need.”

Here are a list of upcoming, local blood drives:

  • From 11:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Friday, April 18 at Big Rapids Department of Public Safety, 435 N. Michigan Ave. in Big Rapids
  • From 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Thursday April 24, at Morley Stanwood High School, 4700 Northland Drive in Morley
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Monday, April 28, at Big Rapids First United Methodist Church, 304 Elm St. in Big Rapids
  • From 1 to 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, at the Stanwood Eagles, 7200 Stanwood Road in Stanwood
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, April 30, at the Evart United Methodist Church, 619 Cherry St. in Evart
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 19778 U.S. 10 in Reed City
  • From 8:30 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, May 1, at Chippewa Hills High School, 3226 Arthur Road in Remus
  • From 1 to 5:45 p.m. on Monday, May 12, at New Hope United Methodist Church, 7296 9 Mile Road in Mecosta