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Franciscan, Red Cross to host blood drives

An American Red Cross worker prepares a shipment of blood.

Franciscan Health and the Red Cross will host upcoming blood drives in Northwest Indiana at a critical time of shortage when blood providers across the nation have less than a two days' supply of some vital blood types.

Franciscan Health will host Versiti Blood Center of Illinois blood drives between noon and 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6 in the St. Claire Conference Room at Franciscan Health Munster at 701 Superior Ave. and between noon and 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at Franciscan Health Crown Point at 1201 S. Main St.

People can visit or versiti.org/IL or by calling 1-800-7TO-Give (1-800-786-4483) to make appointment.

The donations of blood will be used at 63 hospitals in a 12-county area spanning Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana. Versiti Blood Center of Illinois collects more than 155,000 units of blood annually.

And on Wednesday, Jan. 15, the sixth annual ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive will come to Munster for the first time.

The blood drive will take place from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. at The Center for Visual and Performing Arts at 1040 Ridge Road in Munster.

“The blood drive is such a great team effort and every year we have joined forces with the American Red Cross, blood donations have increased and lives have been saved,” said John Idler, president and general manager of ABC 7. “That’s something that makes us all very proud.”

Those who donate get a free ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive T-shirt as long as supplies last.

The ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive is meant to boost supplies during the winter months when donations tend to dry up as people are busy and sick. It's collected more than 2,500 donations thus far.

“We are so humbled to see how the outpouring of support for our community has allowed us to grow this blood drive every year,” said Celena Roldán, regional executive of the Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross. “To see so many roll up a sleeve to provide lifesaving blood to the people who need it most during these critical winter months is such a meaningful gift to give this season.”

To schedule an appointment, visit RedCrossBlood.org with sponsor code: ABC7Chicago or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Finally, people who donate blood at Vitalant donation centers across Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana between Jan. 25 and Jan. 31 can get a free sandwich from Firehouse Subs, which has locations in Merrillville and Portage.

To schedule an appointment, visit vitalant.org or call (877) 258-4825.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.