Area residents will have two opportunities to donate at “Fill the Pantry” blood drives before Thanksgiving.
At these blood drives, blood donors who bring an item of food for the food pantry can enter a drawing to win a $100 grocery gift card. Food items should be nonperishable, unopened, and not in glass containers. Official rules are found at www.communityblood.org.
The blood drives will run from Noon to 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 18 and Monday, Nov. 27. The drives will both be held on the Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center campus at the Menard Center, located behind the hospital at 601 S. Center Ave. in Merrill.
“Blood donations given before Thanksgiving help build up the blood supply, so we have a sufficient inventory for the holiday. And giving blood is a great way to kick off the holiday season. It’s a very charitable way to celebrate Thanksgiving!” said Jan Hadsell of the Community Blood Center.
Advance donation appointments are highly recommended, and may be made by calling the Community Blood Center at (800)280-4102 or visiting www.save3lives.org. Walk-in donors are welcome, but scheduling an appointment keeps the total time required for a donation to less than an hour.
Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental permission), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, and bring a photo ID. Donors are encouraged to eat a regular meal and drink plenty of fluids prior to donating.
Since 1955, the Community Blood Center has worked with volunteer blood donors to provide a steady, reliable blood supply for hospitals. Today, the blood center remains a nonprofit organization committed to serving hospital patients. The blood center is also a donor center with the National Marrow Donor Program, facilitating transplants for patients with life-threatening diseases.