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Memorial Blood Centers Adds to its Mission this Holiday Season With a Program to Help Fight Hunger

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 General News J E 4
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Nov. 10 Memorial Blood Centers today announced the details of its annual partnership program with Second Harvest Heartland, designed to restock the life-saving blood supplies at local hospitals while helping to fill area food shelves as well. For every pint of blood donated between November 11, 2009 and January 11, 2010, Twin Cities-based Memorial Blood Centers will donate one pound of food to Second Harvest Heartland.

"We are creating a 'New Math of Giving' this holiday season," Wendy Capetz, Director of Marketing and Development at Memorial Blood Centers said. "Making a blood donation is safe, convenient, and takes only about one hour of time. With every pint of blood donated, as many as three people are given a life-saving gift. Now through Pint for a Pound, every donor can more than double the impact of a single donation by helping to put food on the table for a family of four. That's how we arrive at this program's 'New Math' equation: 1 hour of time + 1 pint of blood = a donor's impact on as many as 7 people in need."

Last year, Memorial Blood Centers donated nearly 22,000 pounds of food to area food shelves through Pint for a Pound.

"We are especially pleased this year to again partner with Memorial Blood Centers to help meet the ever-growing demand on our local food shelves," said Rob Zeaske, Executive Director of Second Harvest Heartland. "Every year, holidays are tough. But as the cash-strapped economics in our state continue to take its toll on the unemployed and the stability of household incomes, we are grateful to the generous blood donors who will step up to give blood to Memorial Blood Centers and generate a significant benefit to Second Harvest at the same time."

"We call on volunteers everywhere to offer thanks this holiday season with a donation that can make a lasting impact on a neighbor, friend, or family member. Help Memorial Blood Centers break our previous record of 22,000 pounds of food to Second Harvest with a gift that doesn't require cash, a box, or a bow -- just the generous gift of time," Capetz added.

To participate in Memorial Blood Centers' Pint for a Pound promotion, call 888-GIVE-BLD (888-448-3253) or go online to www.MBC.org to make an appointment to donate at any of 11 donor centers or at any one of the community-sponsored blood drives in the area.

Fast Facts about Giving a Gift to Your Community:

Every two seconds, someone needs blood--from heart transplant recipients and cancer patients to accident victims in crises. Memorial Blood Centers faces a demand of over 2,700 units a week to meet the needs of more than 30 hospital partners. And making a donation is one way to give a potentially life-saving gift to friends, family, and community.

The need for blood never takes a vacation--even though donors sometimes do--and shortages often occur during the summer and winter holidays.

Donors 17 and older must be in good health and weigh at least 110 pounds; donors 16 years of age must weigh at least 130 pounds, be at least 5 feet tall, and have written parental consent. While walk-in donors are always welcome, appointments can be made in advance.

About Memorial Blood Centers

Memorial Blood Centers has been saving lives in the community for over 60 years as the only locally-operated nonprofit organization supplying life-saving blood and blood components to over 30 hospital partners throughout Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. Operating 11 donor centers and conducting hundreds of blood drives each month, Memorial Blood Centers also is a national leader in transfusion medicine, providing expert technical services to clients throughout the U.S. For more information call 888-GIVE BLD or visit www.memorialbloodcenters.org.

About Second Harvest Heartland

The Upper Midwest's largest hunger-relief organization with a mission of ending hunger through community partnerships, Second Harvest Heartland distributes nearly 50 million pounds of food and grocery products annually to 1,000 member agencies and programs in Minnesota and western Wisconsin. For more information, visit www.2harvest.org.

1. All donations are processed and available for use within 24-48 hours 2. Each unit of blood can help up to three (3) people 3. Since blood cannot be synthetically made, there is no substitute 4. Donating is safe, convenient, and takes only about one hour, including registration and a mini-physical.

SOURCE Memorial Blood Centers
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