American Red Cross Holding Blood Drives Across Northern Minnesota
“It’s like an oil change for your body, it’s good for you,” says Jeffery Schmitt, a team supervisor for the Red Cross.
When was the last time you gave blood? Maybe you don’t have time or the facility was too far. Or you have a big fear of needles. Luckily, the American Red Cross is here to alleviate some of those fears.
“I donate every time that they come here. It’s nice. It’s great and every year we do it, so it feel like we’re just helping out and I encourage people to do it,” says donor Billy Krotezer.
The American Red Cross has been setting up donor stations all across Northern Minnesota. Today’s drive was in Walker at the Northern Lights Casino. The process to donate is pretty simple, and at the end you get a free t-shirt and even some snacks.
“You sign up at the front. You come in and we do the health history so we do all your vitals. We take the hemoglobin. We do your iron levels,” says collections technician Mehgan McDaniel.
“You can just show up and walk up; we prefer that you sign-up and there’s multiple ways you can do that. You can do that right online at RedCross.org or you can just give us a call at 1-800-RED-CROS or you can download our app, that been more and more common now days,” says Schmitt.
Donating blood takes less than an hour from the time of sign-up to the time you leave the chair. Also remember, there’s never a bad time to give blood because it’s always needed.
“We get emails everyday about how our storage is and hospitals are calling, emailing saying ‘hey, we need this blood type, we need that blood type’ we need all blood types,” says Schmitt.
McDaniel adds, “We have different scenarios and different reasons why we need the blood. You have cancer patients; you have people who have been in trauma, like car accidents. You have babies who were born with sicknesses. People who need transfusions for all different types of reasons.”
There are a few things to bring if you plan on donating with the Red Cross, like a donor card or a picture I.D. like a driver’s license. If you don’t have a picture I.D. you can bring two form of non-picture I.D. You should also come hydrated and eat something beforehand. If you missed this blood drive, you have another chance.
“We’re trying to grow in this area. We do a lot of blood drives in Baxter and Brainerd, Willmar and Hutchinson but we’re trying to grow in this area because the people are wonderful. They’re great donors. Tomorrow we’ll be in Cass Lake at The Palace Casino from 10am to 4pm,” says Schmitt.
The Red Cross is also always in need of volunteers. You can sign up on their website here.