OSCEOLA COUNTY — The American Red Cross reminds eligible donors that it’s never too late — or too early — to make blood donation a lifelong habit.

Many blood donors report making their first blood donation while in high school. High school and college students account for about 20 percent of all blood donations to the Red Cross. Individuals can begin donating at 17 years old, or 16 in some states, and continue to donate as long as they meet eligibility requirements.

Blood donations often decline during the winter holidays when school is not in session. The Red Cross is offering 16- to 24-year-old students currently enrolled in school a way to help overcome this seasonal decline and have a chance to win a college scholarship. Students who sponsor a successful blood drive between Dec. 15, and Jan. 15, through the Leaders Save Lives program will be entered to win a college scholarship and will receive a gift card. More information is available at redcrossblood.org/leaderssavelives.

Donors are needed year-round, particularly those with types O negative, A negative and B negative blood. Those who attempt to donate in October will be entered to win a $5,000 Visa gift card, courtesy of Suburban Propane.

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

  • From 1 to 6:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 21, at the Stanwood Eagles, located at 7200 Stanwood Road in Stanwood
  • From 1 to 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Blanchard Church of God, located at 200 S. Fourth St. in Blanchard
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the Evart United Methodist Church, located at 619 Cherry St. in Evart
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 27, at the Big Rapids First United Methodist Church, located at 304 Elm St. in Big Rapids
  • From 8:15 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Morley Stanwood High School, located at 4700 Northland Drive in Morley
  • From 1 to 5:45 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, at Trinity Lutheran Church, located at 19778 U.S. 10 in Reed City