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Red Cross Opens Remodeled Blood Donation Center in Bloomington

American Red Cross
The new Bloomington Blood Donation Center opened Thursday.

American Red Cross officials say the newly remodeled donation center on Bloomington's east side will better serve the community and make it easier to give blood.

The main floor of the facility at 1 Westport Court has been redesigned into a Red Cross blood donation center. Donations previously took place downstairs. The new space opened Thursday.

“This change will allow easier access to the building for staff, volunteers and donors, and offer additional donation opportunities while providing lifesaving blood products to the community,” said Red Cross spokesperson Laura McGuire.

The lower level of the facility will now be used for Red Cross humanitarian services. Renovations will include an open concept space with workspaces, conference rooms, and a kitchenette. This will allow the Red Cross to continue to provide vital humanitarian services, disaster relief and health and safety classes, said McGuire.

The renovations to the lower level are expected to finish in September 2018. Renovations upstairs began in March.

The opening of the new donation center couldn’t come at a better time. An emergency blood shortage is prompting the Red Cross to issue an urgent call for eligible donors due to a decrease in blood donation inventory. McGuire said the Red Cross typically sees a decline in inventory for numerous reasons.

“People are out and about enjoying summer activities, and our blood coordinators aren’t necessarily putting on blood drives, so we see a little bit of a dip in our inventory levels,” McGuire said.

The Red Cross has to collect at least 13,000 donations every single day, McGuire said. Because the Red Cross was closed on the Fourth of July holiday, McGuire said they saw a huge drop in their inventory.  

McGuire encourages donors to come in to the new facility to see the renovations and to donate. Blood donors of all types are needed, especially type O because of its universal use.

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Maddie is a social media and online writing intern at GLT. She's a student in the School of Communication at Illinois State University.