By Tara Black and Jessika Perez
Grand Rapids Community College’s Office Life of Student Conduct will be hosting the first blood drive of the winter semester as blood shortages continue nationwide.
The blood drive is set for Wednesday, Feb. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and all donors will receive a $10 e-gift card.
“We had 17 donors,” Ashley Fox, the Assistant Director of The Office of Student Life and Conduct, said of the blood drive in the fall. “And with that, we were able to collect 12 units of blood which has the potential to save 30 lives.”
Blood donation services will be provided by Versiti Blood Center. Walk-ins are welcome. Donors can also schedule an appointment ahead of time online and can expect the entire process to take 30-60 min.
GRCC’s blood drive comes at a time when it is desperately needed around the nation mostly because of COVID-19.
“Last year blood collection from mobile/community drives was down about 40 percent,” said Versiti Public Relations Kristin Paltzer.
Many places like the Red Cross are following the Blood Regulations by the FDA.
Read more about the regulations for someone donating during this time here. The site offers guidance on donating blood for vaccinated, unvaccinated and people who have recovered from COVID-19. It also tells you the recommended days you should wait between blood donations.
“The donation process itself poses no risk of infecting a donor with coronavirus,” Paltzer said. “If you’d like to donate blood, you are able to as long as you’ve been symptom-free for 14 days.”
Eighty-five hospitals around the state rely on Versiti, a supplier of blood products to local hospitals. Before the pandemic, Versiti used mobile donation centers to visit schools, businesses, and churches for the bulk of their supply. About 3,000 donors a week would be needed to keep up with the demand in Michigan. Nationally, we have a one-day blood supply reserve.
The GRCC blood drive will be located at the Raider Grille located on the second floor of the Student Center. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.