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American Red Cross asks for volunteers, blood donors during busy disaster season

Storms and wildfires leave Red Cross with blood shortage
Posted at 9:48 AM, Aug 09, 2021

WEST MICHIGAN — The American Red Cross needs volunteers to help on the ground and blood platelet donors to roll up a sleeve to maintain a stable blood supply in the face of emergencies this summer.

Many weather experts predict a destructive wildfire and hurricane season this year, according to a news release Monday.

“This year’s wildfire season is already very active and dangerous because of the severe drought and dry woodlands in our area, said Todd Kulman, regional communications manager for the Michigan Red Cross. “After several years of record-breaking wildfires, the Red Cross is already responding in dozens of communities and asks you to train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and help if the need arises.”

Volunteers are needed to support disaster shelters, helping with reception, registration, food distribution, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks inside the shelters.

Individuals are also needed to help address people’s health needs and provide hands-on care in alignment with their professional licensure, such as registered nurses and licensed practical nurses.

Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be needed.

Local Disaster Action Teams also need volunteers to help provide 24-hour emergency response to local disasters, especially home fires, ensuring those affected have access to resources for basic necessities like food, shelter and clothing.

Those interested in volunteering can call 313-833-4440.

Wildfires, record-breaking heat and a busy hurricane season can also impact the country’s blood supply.

On top of the toll extreme weather events take on people’s lives, disasters can cause blood drive closures or prevent donors from being able to give safely.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities in West Michigan include:

Allegan County:

Allegan

8/18/2021: 11 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Hartman Conference Center, 690 N Eastern Ave

Saugatuck

8/25/2021: 11 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Third Coast Community Church, 6069 Blue Star Highway

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Kent

Grand Rapids

8/19/2021: 11 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., American Red Cross West Michigan, 3886 Broadmoor Ave SE

Grandville

8/20/2021: 12 p.m. - 5:15 p.m., RiverTown Crossings, 3700 Rivertown Pkwy

Grand Rapids

8/24/2021: 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., Wright Tallmadge Firehall, 1451 Leonard St NW

Grandville

8/25/2021: 12 p.m. - 5:15 p.m., RiverTown Crossings, 3700 Rivertown Pkwy

Grand Rapids

8/30/2021: 11 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., Northlawn United Methodist, 1157 Northlawn St NE

8/31/2021: 12:30 p.m. - 6:15 p.m., Streams of Hope, 280 60th St SE

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Ottawa

Allendale

8/19/2021: 11:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Life Stream Church, 6561 Lake Michigan Drive

Holland

8/19/2021: 1 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., Intersection Ministries, 945 136th Avenue

8/20/2021: 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., Faith Christian Reformed Church, 85 West 26th

8/23/2021: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Christ Memorial Church, 595 Graafschap

Zeeland

8/24/2021: 10 a.m. - 3:45 p.m., First Baptist Church, 246 W. Main Ave

Holland

8/26/2021: 11 a.m. - 4:45 p.m., Central Wesleyan Church, 446 W. 40th Street

8/26/2021: 1 p.m. - 6:45 p.m., Elks Lodge #1315, 569 E 24th Street

Grand Haven

8/27/2021: 12 p.m. - 5:45 p.m., Harvest Church, 12900 US-31

8/30/2021: 12 p.m. - 4:45 p.m., Grand Haven Elks Lodge #1200, 15 S. 3rd Street