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Blood Donors Give Back to Local Children
(ST. JOSEPH) – Children in the Emergency Department waiting room at Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph, will now have a special reading area just for them, thanks to a generous gift from Michigan Community Blood Centers (MCBC) and its blood donors.

As part of MCBC’s “Four for Life” program, blood donors who give blood four times within 12 months receive a small gift of appreciation, or may choose for MCBC to put the amount spent on the gift toward a fund for local children. Working together with Lakeland HealthCare, MCBC determined that a reading area was a necessity for children in the Emergency Department waiting area and used the fund to purchase a bookshelf. According to MCBC, 89 regular blood donors made the gift possible, and a plaque on the shelf will recognize that it was provided through blood donations.

“Blood donors will be able to look at this reading area and know that not only have they been able to save lives by giving blood, but at the same time, they’ve supported Lakeland HealthCare and encouraged literacy,” said Doug deBest, Site Manager for the Southwest Michigan/Berrien County location of Michigan Community Blood Centers.

To complete the reading area, the Emergency Department received funds from the Lakeland Health Foundation, Benton Harbor/St. Joseph, to purchase a selection of children’s books.

“So many children come to the waiting room of the Emergency Department with family members or as patients,” said Kathy Effa, Manager, Emergency Department, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, St. Joseph. “These generous gifts from MCBC and the Lakeland Health Foundation will be much appreciated, especially during situations that can often be stressful for children.”

“Four for Life” is an ongoing program from MCBC to encourage regular blood donation to the community. MCBC plans to use funds raised by this program in the future for similar gifts at Lakeland facilities throughout Southwest Michigan.

For more information about Michigan Community Blood Centers and to learn about upcoming blood drives, call (269) 408-1540, or visit www.miblood.org. For more information about Lakeland HealthCare, please visit www.lakelandhealth.org.

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