Blood donations: It’s the gift that could save a life

Posted at 8:08 PM, Nov 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-27 22:29:45-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – During the Thanksgiving holiday, a lot of people spent time with family. And while people across West Michigan were doing that, blood banks were actually losing their supply.

To help fill the need, Michigan Blood, is holding a special drive to boost donations. It gives anyone who donates a $10 dollar Amazon or Target gift card.

"Over the long holiday weekends donation levels tend to drop off,” says Amy Routter with ‘Michigan Blood.' “People are busy with their families, cooking their turkeys."
But the need for blood never stops.

"It never takes a vacation,” says Routter. “So we're doing our thanks for giving event, to not only remind people that the need for blood is constant and to encourage them to come out, but we're also going to say thank you by giving our donors a thank you gift as well."

Michigan Blood provides for more than 60 hospitals in the state, including all the ones in Grand Rapids.

The gift cards are a nice perk to help increase donations. But many regular donors say it’s not the reason they donate their time to give the gift of life.

"You know it's an added benefit,” says Steve Pike, who donates regularly. a regular donor. “But I don't come in for this type of stuff. I come in because I feel it does a good thing for people in need."

"It's not the motivating factor for me," says Tom Fiore, a blood plate donor. "I started giving blood when I was in high school. If you're part of a community it's what you do."

‘Michigan Blood’ says there’s also a high need for O-negative blood because that blood type is a universal donor. They’re asking anyone with that blood type to not only donate, but donate regularly.

The gift card donation drives ends Monday at 7:00 p.m.