Merrill MASH Blood Drive planned
The 21st Annual Merrill MASH Blood Drive is being planned for Thursday, Aug. 8 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. This large community drive is an effort to boost blood donations at the end of summer.
The MASH-themed event draws volunteer blood donors from throughout the Merrill area, and is held in Kitchenette Park at 211 West First Street in Merrill. Camouflage, dog tags, and olive drab create a fun atmosphere, and organizers expect more than 200 people to donate blood at the blood drive. Donors can enjoy a brat fry by Geiss Meat Market this year.
“Blood donations decrease each summer. During the rest of the year, many blood donations are collected at school blood drives, which don’t run in the summer. In addition, many people take vacations or spend time on the lake at this time of year,” explained Jan Hadsell of the Community Blood Center. “It is challenging to collect enough donations in August, so blood drives like MASH are very important!”
Donations of all blood types are needed. Donations from people with O+, O-, A-, and B- blood are especially needed.
Donation appointments are highly recommended, and may be made by calling the Community Blood Center at (800)280-4102, or going to www.save3lives.org. Scheduling an appointment in advance reduces waiting time, keeping the total time required for a donation to less than an hour. Walk-in donors are also welcome.
More than 2,500 people have donated at the Merrill MASH Blood Drive since 1999.
“Giving blood at MASH is really a neat experience! Every time you donate blood you can help a hospital patient, but at MASH there are so many more people donating blood, and it’s a lot of fun. If you’ve never come to MASH, join us at Kitchenette Park on Thursday!” added Hadsell.
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.