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Red Cross Looking to Colleges for Blood Donations

Ypsilanti, MI – Area colleges students may have noticed a spike in blood drives on their campuses over the past few years.

There's a reason for that.

Blood drives at the big three auto plants no longer yield big results, says Gerry Abejuro, regional representative for the American Red Cross. Job losses caused by poor economic conditions have caused that significant donor group to dry up. Now, the Red Cross is reaching out to other populations.

"What we've done is that we've gone back to places like public communities, such as universities, schools, churches, other places of worship," Abejuro says. "So we've tried to have more blood drives there to make up for the blood that we have lost because of economic circumstances."

Abejuro says the Red Cross gets between 800 and 1,000 units of blood from Eastern Michigan University every year and that the organization has seen success with the new strategy throughout Washtenaw county. But it still has a ways to go to make up for the losses resulting in the state of the economy, he says. So the Red Cross will continue to seek out new locations for blood drives while it seeks to stabilize the blood supply.