In response to the pandemic-related blood shortage facing many area hospitals, the Vikings of Solvang are hosting a blood drive Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Vikings, a Solvang nonprofit that provides help for medical-related community needs, is partnering with the nonprofit Vitalant Blood Services to make this blood drive possible. Donors will arrive at Solvang Elementary School, 565 Atterdag Road, for their designated time slot between 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday or Wednesday.
Though the Vikings typically host two blood-drive days annually, one in the spring and one in the fall, the pressing need for blood and social distancing requirements led the Vikings to make this spring blood drive a two-day effort this year.
Since opening their blood drive registration, Richard Kline, the chief of Solvang Vikings, said the community has shown great support for the effort.
“It’s been an outstanding response,” Mr. Kline told the News-Press, adding that limited donation spots remain available.
In accordance with COVID-19 precautions, all donors will be required to wear a mask and pre-register to donate blood. Donors who have recently had COVID-19 can help in the response effort by donating plasma, which can help current patients fighting the virus.
The Vikings are offering every donor a $25 dinner voucher to use at participating local restaurants as a way to say thank you for participating in the blood drive.
“It certainly seems appropriate to give them a small thanks,” Mr. Kline said. “I mean, they’re doing something for the good of the community, and it’s certainly appropriate to do something good for them.”
To make an appointment to donate blood, visit www.blood4life.org, click on “Donate Blood” and search by Solvang’s zip code (93463). Then choose either the March 9 or 10 blood drive listed as “Solvang Vikings Large Hall.” All donors must be 18 or order, eat something and drink plenty of water before donating and must have a photo ID.