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Founded by volunteers and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, Memorial Blood Centers is a volunteer-rich organization whose work is entirely dependent upon the generosity of people in our community who give—including tens of thousands of volunteer donors who each year roll up their sleeves to give blood. Since only blood collected from volunteer donors can be used for transfusion in the U.S., recruiting and retaining our invaluable blood donors remains a key focus and challenge of our work.
Help us expand our reach and engage more partner blood drive sponsors—businesses, organizations, places of worship, schools, and community groups—who host blood drives at their facilities.
Our annual What’s Your Type? benefit takes place in spring in the Metro area and fall in Duluth. We rely on the generosity of companies and foundations to raise funds and support our mission.
Find out more about event sponsorship opportunities on the What’s Your Type? page.
Each year more than 23,000 Minnesotans are diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening cancer. And since 2000, cancer has surpassed heart disease as the leading cause of death among residents in our state; it also is the leading cause of childhood mortality.
Blood products and platelets are essential to sustaining the lives of patients undergoing cancer treatments and chemotherapy. Your dedicated financial support for one of our Cancer Care programs will help ensure that Memorial Blood Centers is able to continue to provide quality blood products for recipients as well as the best experience for donors.
Fund an e-chair for platelet donors Platelet apheresis donations collect 4 to 6 times the number of platelets typically collected through a whole blood donation. For the generous platelet donor, however, the process can take two hours or more to complete. A specially-designed, ergonomically contoured chair, known as an “e-chair”, provides donors with enhanced comfort during their extended donation appointment with features that include a plush pillow back and seat, and multi-media and internet access that allow donors to work away from the office, listen to music, or watch a movie—all while donating blood. Providing financial support to fund the purchase of additional e-chairs will further our efforts to recruit more platelet donors and significantly enhance the experience for those generous volunteers who give so much of their time to help cancer and cardiac patients in need.
Support Apheresis Angels Cancer patients undergoing multiple treatments, sometimes for years, may develop antibodies to foreign antigens and need HLA-matched platelets. Apheresis Angels are generous platelet donors whose platelets have undergone an extensive typing procedure, are registered in our database and, when called upon, make a Special Donation to meet a specific patient’s time-sensitive need for platelets. Funding for our specialized HLA-typing process helps ensure that we are able to continually expand the number of Apheresis Angels who can be there for cancer patients when they need platelets the most.
Fund an amicus separator for our stem cell program An Amicus Separator is a specialized instrument that collects stem cells (in what is typically a six-to-eight hour procedure) from an individual donor for transplant, specifically in support of treatment regimens for cancer patients. After high-dose chemotherapy and/or irradiation to destroy cancer, leukemia, or malignant cells, patients in need receive these life-sustaining stem cells (hematopoietic progenitor cells) through transfusion.
As a participant in the National Marrow Donor Program (NMDP), Memorial Blood Centers plays a vital role in supporting the NMDP’s “Be the Match” efforts, including working to find hard-to-match donors. And with cancer rates continuing to rise year after year, financial support for a new Amicus Separator will allow Memorial Blood Centers to continue to respond to the ever-growing need for the healthcare community to deliver the highest quality cancer care possible.
In the U.S., about one in 500 African American children are born with this disease and approximately one in 10 carry the trait. Those who are sickle trait negative can be ideal candidates to donate to a sickle cell patient.
For children and other patients suffering from sickle cell disease, blood transfusions can be the only relief from frequent episodes of pain and other complications. Patients who receive frequent transfusions can develop antibodies against donated blood, and finding a donor whose antigens match those of the patient becomes increasingly difficult. Our Sickle Cell Disease Donor Program uses an extensive typing process to screen donors and then match their blood to patients in need. Sponsors are needed to help us continue our outreach efforts to identify and register new matching donors.
Collaborating with business leaders, hospital partners, high schools and colleges, and civic organizations, we regularly reach out to educate, inform, inspire, and engage others in our mission to save and sustain lives through blood donation.
High School Program
Two unique program components—Student Scholarships and the High School Blood Drive Workshop—provide education, leadership training, recognition, and financial support to graduating seniors pursuing post-high school academic studies. Two annual High School Blood Drive Workshops—one in the Metro and one in the Northland—offer a one-day training and education experience that empowers students to develop critical leadership skills as they assemble a team to organize blood drives, recruit their peers to be blood donors, and work with faculty and staff advisors to promote the event and ensure its success.
High School Workshop
Support our educational outreach through grants and in-kind contributions. Partner with us to achieve our goal of helping young people build a life-long commitment to community service as blood donors and as leaders in organizing and conducting successful blood drives.
Student Scholarship Awards
Provide graduating seniors—selected by school faculty or advisors—with financial scholarships to help support their continuing education. Scholarship funds are awarded based on the number of Memorial Blood Centers blood drives held at the school throughout the year and the total units of blood donated at each drive.
There is nothing more motivating to donors than images and stories of those whose lives they have saved. On TV screens prominently displayed in the café areas of our donor centers, blood donors relax and enjoy a snack and beverage after their donation, and view our Stories of Lives Saved. These compelling real-life stories further engage donors in the meaningful difference blood donation can make in the life of another and encourage them to schedule their next donation appointment. Funding to help cover the costs of filming and production will further our efforts to capture powerful new stories and support the continuing education of donors on the importance of their life-saving gifts.
View more videos on our Channel.