LANSING — The Red Cross typically sees a decline in donations during the winter season. Individuals can help the Red Cross and hospital patients this month while discovering the true meaning of the season by giving a generous gift of a blood or platelet donation. Each donation made can help save up to three lives.

“Hospital patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood and platelets,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager for the Great Lakes Region. “We need donors to come in and give before they get too busy with other things.”

Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. On average, the Red Cross must collect 15,000 pints of blood every day to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,700 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. Blood donations are used to treat cancer patients, trauma victims, premature babies and those living with chronic blood diseases each and every day.

Here is a list of local donation times and locations in Osceola and Mecosta counties:

  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at Spectrum Health Big Rapids Hospital, 605 Oak St.
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Ferris State University West Campus Community Center, 1414 Family Drive in Big Rapids
  • From 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 30, at Stanwood High School, 4808 Northland Drive in Morley
  • From 8 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10 at Pine River High School, 17445 Pine River School Road
  • From noon to 5:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, at the Ferris State University West Campus Community Center, 1414 Family Drive in Big Rapids