SOLVANG — The Vikings of Solvang, a nonprofit that provides medical help in Santa Barbara County, is hosting a blood drive March 9 and 10 in response to the urgent need for blood, platelets and plasma donations.
The blood drive will be held from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Solvang Elementary School gym. Vitalant Blood Services will handle the donations.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, blood donations have dropped significantly, though the need remains high, said Vicki Wolfe, communications manager for Vitalant.
“The need for blood, platelet, and convalescent plasma donations is ongoing even during this pandemic,” Ms. Wolfe said. “People are still getting into accidents, being diagnosed with cancer or COVID-19 and having complications during childbirth.”
Donors who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered can help current patients fighting the virus by donating plasma. In addition, all blood donations collected will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies.
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.
All donors will receive a $25 dinner voucher after donating, which can be used at participating local restaurants.
“The Vikings rely on the generous people in the Santa Ynez Valley for a successful blood drive,” Richard Kline, this year’s Viking chief, said in a statement. “The free dinner is our way to thank you for your support — and for your donation of blood for those who need it.”
For more information, call Blood Drive Chairman Kim Jensen at 805-266-8768.
— Madison Hirneisen