Regular blood drives to start in Belding

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 11:31 am on Wednesday, January 08, 2014

BELDING — The Michigan Blood organization has its location, date and volunteers ready for an upcoming blood drive — now the nonprofit just needs the people of Belding to show their support.

At Tuesday evening’s Belding City Council Meeting, Donor Relations Specialist Wendy DaWeerd gave a presentation to council members alerting them that a new bimonthly blood drive will begin at the Belding VFW Post 4406 at 148 N. Bridge St.

The first drive will be 12:30 to 7 p.m. on Jan. 16, and DaWeerd is hoping for a good turnout.

“We are hoping for at least 55 people to show up so we can meet our collection goal of 35 pints,” DaWeerd said. “We’re starting a regular donation center at the Belding VFW and I just want to spread the word within the community.”

DaWeerd said the drive will be the start of a bimonthly blood drive in Belding with a goal to reach out to Belding residents who may not have been able to travel into Greenville for previous blood drives.

“We’re hoping to go every other month indefinitely,” she said. “We needed a space that was big enough and the VFW has that and are letting us use it for free.”

DaWeerd said, on occasion, there were blood drives at Belding High School, but the new effort at the VFW will be the first official drive held on a repetitive basis in the Belding community.

“We supply the Spectrum Health United Hospital in Greenville,” she said. “We have to collect 2,200 pints of blood every week to meet the needs of the hospitals that we supply.

DaWeerd said for example, 100 pints of blood are needed each day from Kent County hospitals.

“There is a continuous need for blood donation as only 5 percent of the general population donates,” she said. “If you’re sitting at home thinking someone else is out there donating instead, chances are it’s not true.”

According to DaWeerd, the minimum age to donate is 16, with parental consent, otherwise those who are 17 and up can donate.

A donor must weigh at least 110 pounds as one pint of blood is taken from the body.

“You have about 8 to 10 pints of blood in your body,” she said. “If you want to donate, make sure you have eaten and have drunk plenty of water before you arrive.

For more information on the upcoming drive, call Michigan Blood at 1-866-642-5663.

There was no new business for the city council to conduct Tuesday evening, other than accepting the consent agenda as presented.

Included in the consent agenda was the approval of city bills and the appointments of Marjorie Hansen, Douglas Lamborne and Dave Mierendorf to the Board of Review, as well as Carla Gunderson and Kathleen Flynn to the Library Board.

City Manager Meg Mullendore provided council members with an update on the Electrolux property on the corner of Main and Bridge streets, stating that the city had sent all necessary items to Electrolux in order to receive the $125,000 that will go toward creating a city park on the now vacant property.

“We still have not received the payment and I have sent an email regarding its status,” Mullendore said.

Mayor Pro Tem Tom Jones expressed his thanks to all city workers who have been battling the cold temperatures this winter.

“I’d just like to thank all of the city crews for all of the extra work they’ve been doing to get the streets cleaned up and taken care of,” he said.

Jones said he was also thankful for the fire department, which had just fought a fire earlier in the day on Elizabeth Street in the city.

“I just want to thank them, and the city staff, for all the extra work they’ve had to put in the past month with the way the snow, weather and cold has been.”

Mayor Ron Gunderson echoed Jones’ comments, also offering his thanks.

“I also want to thank the city workers for everything they’ve done,” he said. “Especially the police department for keeping an eye on the town when things were shut down. I’d like to extend my extreme gratitude to the fire department. They have been out on barn fires and house fires in this negative temperature weather and I can’t even imagine what that would be like. You have to be dedicated and believe in what you’re doing. I know it’s a job, but I just want to thank them.”

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