Donate blood, take home cinnamon rolls: Arkansas Blood Institute looks to boost supply amid disasters

River Valley News

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNKWA/KFTA) — Arkansas Blood Institute (ABI) is rewarding donors this holiday season with a special treat to help boost the blood supply going into the holidays, and in light of the recent tornadoes across the Midwest and Southeast.

Successful donors who give at a donor center only from December 13–19 and December 26–January 2 will receive a half dozen of Okarche’s Old Fashioned cinnamon rolls.

Arkansas Blood Institute is hopeful these incentives will motivate donors to give during a time when they are critically needed.

“We need help replenishing the blood supply after sending units of blood to Kentucky in response to the recent tornadoes,” said Dr. John Armitage, President and CEO of ABI. “The holidays are also the busiest time of year and people are off their usual routine of donating blood.”

On Dec. 11, ABI partner Blood Emergency Readiness Corps (BERC) activated in response to the tornadoes and shipped blood products via partnering blood centers to Blood Assurance in Chattanooga, Tenn., in support of patient transfusions in Nashville, Tenn.

This marked the third time BERC has been activated since its launch in September. The network is made up of 25 blood centers that prepare for emergency needs by collecting extra blood products on a rotating on-call schedule.

The Community Blood Center, SunCoast Blood Centers, Carter BloodCare and The Blood Connection were the responding blood centers for this emergency.

Donors will also receive their choice between two movie-themed long sleeve t-shirts. The navy-blue designs are one-of-a-kind and inspired by “A Christmas Story” and “Home Alone.”

Donors also receive a free COVID-19 antibody test while supplies last.

Appointments to donate can be made online at or by calling 877-340-8777.

While COVID-19 vaccination is not required of blood donors, those who have been vaccinated can donate immediately, assuming they are feeling well. Blood donation typically takes about an hour, and one donation saves up to three lives.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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