Brutal winter taking toll on blood drives

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This year’s brutal winter is taking its toll on the blood supply in West Michigan.

Kristen Nauss, the Public Relations Director for Michigan Blood, says winter is always a tough time for donations, but this winter has been especially brutal.

“We don’t want them to have to come out in nasty weather and drive, but at the same time if they don’t, we don’t have the blood to supply to our local hospitals,” said Nauss.

Michigan Blood supplies all of the blood to Kent County. They need 2,200 units of donated blood per week to satisfy the needs of their hospital partners, but half of their blood drives in January had to be cancelled because of all the ice, snow, and cold.

Michigan Blood is now partnering with Gilda’s Club and LaughFest for the second year in a row to host a number of blood drives. Organizers hope this will help restock their supply.

The blood drives are happening on March 3-5 and on March 10 at locations throughout Kent County. In order to set up an appointment, click here. For each person who donates blood, $10 will be donated towards LaughFest’s High Five Campaign, which is looking to raise an additional $100,000 in funds for children living with cancer or grief and in-school emotional health programs.

Event Coordinators hope to see a big turnout at the blood drives regardless of the weather.

“The weather’s bad, it’s cold, it’s tough outside, but people that need blood are having a tough time too,” said Erik Wolenberg, the Marketing Manager for Gilda’s Club. “It’s really easy to stay home and sit by the fire, but people need help all around West Michigan and this is a really easy way to do it and you get rewarded for it too.”

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