Meridian blood drive reaches donation goal

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By Sara Konkel
Meridian Times staff writer

After a harsh winter, blood supplies were extremely low. To combat this,
Meridian Township held one of their three yearly American Red Cross blood drives Thursday in the municipal building.

Meridian resident Karl Ebner jokes with registered nurse Aolonda Chaplin while giving blood.

Meridian resident Karl Ebner jokes with registered nurse Aolonda Chaplin while giving blood.

Meridian resident Jean Eddy donates as regularly as she is able because it makes her feel good to give back to her community, she said. Eddy has O-negative blood and feels obligated to frequently donate since there is a great demand for her blood type.

The blood collected in the Red Cross drives is sent to hospitals in the area unless there is a large surplus, which rarely happens this time of year, American Red Cross registered nurse Jodie Miller said. The summer often draws a large amount of volunteers, which creates a surplus. In that case, donated blood is usually sent to Detroit, where supplies are generally low.

Each person donates a pint of blood, which is then split up into three components: red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Because of this, each pint of blood could potentially save three lives, Miller said.

The American Red Cross set a blood drive goal of 21 donations Thursday, which could save up to 63 lives. The goal was met exactly.

Karl Ebner gives blood Thursday as he has been doing regularly since 1989.

Karl Ebner gives blood Thursday as he has been doing regularly since 1989.

The blood drives at the Meridian Township Municipal Building began in 2007 and were inspired by a TV show called “Moonlight,” Meridian Township administrative assistant and blood drive organizer Carol Lowe said.

The show was about a vampire and when it was in danger of being cancelled, fans came together to draw attention to the show. In doing this, they organized several blood drives across the country, wearing shirts that said, “Moonlight” on the front and “Bite Me” on the back.

Lowe was a long-time fan of the show and thought the idea of the blood drive was “the best thing.” That year, she organized a blood drive for the township and has done so every year since.

Though the show was cancelled despite the fans’ efforts, the movement inspired a lasting change on Meridian Township.

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