News Releases


Michigan Blood Recognizes Donors in Honor of World Blood Donor Day

Begin your bloodline connection with others by becoming a Michigan Blood donor

Grand Rapids
, Mich. (June 9, 2016) – On Tuesday, June 14, millions of blood donors will be recognized as part of World Blood Donor Day. During the week of June 13-18, Michigan Blood is celebrating blood donors by recognizing their loyal contributions to the mission of saving lives.

The theme of this year's World Blood Donor Day is "Blood connects us all". It focuses on thanking blood donors and highlights the dimension of "sharing" and "connection" between blood donors and patients. This theme matches Michigan Blood’s challenge to donors to start their own bloodline, which is the permanent connection donors make with others by donating blood.

For Jaimiee Mentink, a mother from South Haven whose infant daughter was saved by blood donors, the connection she feels with the donors is strong. "Thank you for saving my little girl's life,” Mentink says to those blood donors, “Without you taking the time to donate blood, she wouldn't be here today."

The connection became apparent to Saginaw donor Faye Harrison while giving blood for the first time as a freshman at Michigan State University. Harrison was approached by an ROTC commanding officer who wanted to thank her and other donors. “If it weren’t for people like you,” the officer said, “I would have died on the battlefield.” The officer’s presence put a real face to the connection for Harrison. The experience would inspire her to become a loyal blood donor and advocate over the next 50 years.

Caleb Green, a teenager from Midland, learned early on about the connection between blood donor and recipient through the devastating experience of losing his mother to cancer. Blood transfusions from donors helped to prolong his mother's life, which motivated Caleb to become a loyal blood donor at a young age. “Realizing how much blood my mom needed over the years, I really feel the burden to be the one to give back as a thank you to all the other donors,” Green says.

In recognition of World Blood Donor Day, Michigan Blood is inviting residents to visit their local donor center to continue their bloodline connection through blood donation.


Grand Rapids Donor Center
1036 Fuller Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday (Noon-7:00 p.m.)
Tuesday and Friday (8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.)
Saturday (8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are preferred. Donors can schedule an appointment by calling 1-866-MIBlood or by visiting  Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate, although females age 18 and under must weigh 120 pounds or more. Blood donors should bring photo ID.

Michigan Blood is the sole provider of blood and blood products for the majority of hospitals in Michigan, including Spectrum Health, Metro Health, and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Donations given outside of Michigan Blood do not stay local or have direct local impact. Donate blood at Michigan Blood and help save the lives of patients in Michigan hospitals. Michigan Blood is currently in urgent need of O-Negative blood donations.

About Michigan Blood
Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is a fast growing, independent, non-profit blood bank headquartered in Grand Rapids. It provides blood products and services for more than 60 hospitals throughout Michigan and is an established leader in quality and service. Michigan Blood collects more than 125,000 units of blood each year at nine permanent donation sites and more than 3,600 mobile blood drives in 40 counties statewide. Michigan Blood has a nationally recognized stem cell (marrow) program and created Michigan’s first public cord blood bank. In addition, Michigan Blood provides therapeutic apheresis, cellular therapies for the treatment of cancer and transfusion medicine consultations. For more information, visit

About World Blood Donor Day
From the World Health Organization (WHO): World Blood Donor Day, celebrated on June 14 every year, serves to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products and to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood. Ninety-two million blood donations are made worldwide each year. Sixty-two countries collect 100 percent of blood supplies from voluntary unpaid donors. For more information, visit


Mother Thanks Blood Donors Who Saved Her Baby’s Life

Premature baby girl survives infection after two blood transfusions


GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (May 18, 2016) – As many people nationwide celebrate the special women in their lives during Mother’s Day, Michigan Blood is celebrating Jamiee Mentink and her story of becoming a mom for the first time.

In March of 2012, Daughter Ava was born through emergency C-section at only 28 weeks, due to Jamiee's severe illness, preeclampsia. Ava, being a tiny 1lb, 11 oz. at birth, had been doing great in the NICU, but then fell sick to infection. A total of two blood transfusions were needed to save Ava's life. 

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High School Student Caleb Green Turns Sorrow into Service

High school senior earns Michigan Blood’s Donor for Life Leadership Award


MIDLAND, MICH. (May 2, 2016) – It was the start of a new year and Caleb Green never would have guessed that his world was about to drastically change.

The high school senior was busy leading the soccer and basketball teams at Calvary Baptist Academy in Midland, volunteering with his church, and spending time with family. He also made time to participate in Michigan Blood’s Donor for Life Leadership Program.

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Memorial Day Weekend: Give For Those Who Gave

Donate at Michigan Blood in Honor of Those Who Died While Serving Our Country

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (May 4, 2016)
– On a fall day back in 2011, Michigan Blood employee Hope Bissell Clark was serving overseas as an Army horizontal construction engineer, hard at work in war-torn Afghanistan. To help inform friends and loved ones of her status, Hope posted this on her Facebook page:

“Just wanted to let everyone know that im doing good. Alot of stuff going on over here, thats for sure. just want u all to know that ive got my head up and looking everywhere! safe safe safe is my plan! Miss u all!

Little did Hope realize at the time how close she came to sharing her last ever Facebook post. Just days later, a convoy in which she was driving was ambushed, resulting in a firefight that lasted some 20 minutes. 

“Actually, when the first (blast) hit, I didn’t know what had happened,” Hope says. “It’s like it all happened in slow-motion. I felt like we were doing to die there."

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The Verdict Is In: ‘Michigan Blood Saves Lives, Including Mine’

Retired Judge Faye Harrison Weighs in on Her Experience from Blood Donor to Recipient

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (April  1, 2016) – While giving blood for the first time as a freshman at Michigan State University, Faye Harrison was approached by an ROTC commanding officer who wanted to thank her and other donors. “If it weren’t for people like you,” the officer said, “I would have died on the battlefield.” 

The officer’s presence put a real face to the need. The experience would inspire her to become a loyal blood donor and advocate over the next 50 years. 

Click to read more ...

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