Merchants Unite for Cause

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In the spirit of a community coming together, Clara McInnis, a longtime blood donor, and another merchant decided to get businesses in the College Park Shopping Center together to put on a blood drive.

"We just got together and decided it was something we could do to give back to the community," said McInnis, who manages Bog Lots.

Donors piled into the donor mobile looking to give a helping hand.

"It's a good thing to give blood," said Keyani McNeil, a donor. "Someone in your family might need it."

There was an extra incentive for those that took the time to give blood and it was provided by the merchants.

"We're very excited they're having it," said Jane Smith of United Blood Services. "The merchants donated door prizes for donors and just tried to make it a fun event for a very major cause."

Going into January, UBS was 1,000 units short. It is now currently 900 units short.

"People say, you got all that blood at Mash Bash, but it went out the door as hospitals needed it," said Smith.

Smith said, with patients suffering from trauma, cancer, premature births, just to name a few, the need continues.

"Our usage has gone up and we have more heart surgeries and we're giving more blood, but tend to be drawing less," said Smith.

"We heard about the blood shortage and I, myself, had someone that needed blood," said Monshea Love, the manager of Maxway.

For those organizations, or businesses interested in setting up a blood drive or just donating, you can call United Blood Services at (601) 482-2482.