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Local brewery hosts fully booked Red Cross blood drive

On Thursday, 39 people donated blood to the American Red Cross at Common Block Brewing in Medford.

Posted: Apr 9, 2020 6:17 PM
Updated: Apr 9, 2020 6:18 PM

MEDFORD, Ore--- On Thursday, 39 people donated blood to the American Red Cross at Common Block Brewing in Medford.

This the second successful blood drive hosted by Common Block in the last two weeks.

The American Red Cross has been asking for donations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Back on March 14, 2020, NewsWatch 12 reported that more than 1,500 blood drives had been canceled. That resulted in 16,000 fewer donations nationally, according to the American Red Cross.

Since then, Common Block Brewing offered to host blood drives. 

"We got in touch with the Red Cross and said, "We would love to do this if you guys are in need." They said, "Yes, absolutely." Said Common Block Brewing Marketing and Events' Rachel Koning. "So, we scheduled a blood drive for last week and it filled up immediately. So, we did another blood drive this week and it filled up immediately as well."

Every single donation appointment was filled from noon to 5 p.m.

In addition, Common Block gave a free meal to everyone that signed up to donate blood. This is similar to its Pint for Pint Blood Drive that happens in September. The meals were served in an area where people were seated six feet apart. If the donors did not want to eat there, they were allowed to take it home. 

Koning says that the flow of donations is going smoothly. 

"Right now, the flow of people donating and the flow of blood that is needed is working out really well. So, for now, we don't have any more planned but if they request for us to do another one in the future, we will. As of right now, we still plan on doing our Pint for Pint in September."

Koning credits the people of Medford for their ability to remain positive during hard times.

"Everybody's attitude and outlook has been so positive. Last week and this week, everybody is so friendly. They are happy to get out of the house on a sunny day to come and do a really good thing. It feels like a way of helping that is not staying at home. Granted, staying at home is the best thing we can be doing. It is a way to give back and actively do so."

The American Red Cross only accepts blood from people who are healthy and feeling well at the time of the donation.

The Red Cross also says it pre-screens donors by checking their temperature before they enter any Red Cross blood drive.

Those who are healthy, feeling well and eligible to give blood or platelets, are urged to make an appointment to donate as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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