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Donate Pints for Pounds

For the fifth consecutive year, the American Red Cross has teamed up with Dunkin’ Donuts to increase blood donation in exchange for pounds of coffee.

 

Now in its fifth year, the partnership between Dunkin’ Donuts and the American Red Cross has potentially saved up to one million lives.

Dubbed “Give a Pint, Get a Pound,” during the month of January all presenting donors willing to give pints of blood to the American Red Cross will receive a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee redeemable at franchises in the northeast. “Give a Pint, Get a Pound” is being held in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. There are more than 120 blood drives in Connecticut this month including one in Meriden at New Life Church at 262 Bee St. on Jan. 21 from 8:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Other nearby drives include one on Jan. 6 in Cheshire at Temple Lodge #16 from 1 p.m. - 5:45 p.m. (9 Country Club Rd) and Jan. 18 at Zandri's Stillwood Inn (1074 South Colony Rd.) in Wallingford from 1 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Since the campaign launched in 2008, Dunkin’ Donuts has offered more than 350,000 pound of coffee to presenting blood donors. The kickoff for the 2012 partnership will be held at the American Red Cross Blood Center, 209 Farmington Ave., Farmington Thursday, Jan. 5 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (the blood drive runs until 6:45 p.m.) The event is sponsored by NBC Connecticut. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Dunkin' Donuts franchisee Michael Batista, and American Red Cross' Paul Sullivan are scheduled to attend. 

Elaine St. Peter, Communications Program Manager for the American Red Cross commented Tuesday morning at a blood drive held at Dunkin’ Donuts in Branford that January has always been a difficult time of year to collect blood. Since the partnership with Dunkin’ began, she said, “Now January is a much better month because people love to come get their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and help those in need.” 

St. Peter said the Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross distributes about 650 pints of blood daily to state hospitals. The need is great year-round and the “Give a Pint, Get a Pound,” she said, really helps to get people out in the colder months when blood donation is generally down. Since the campaign launced there has been a 16% increase in January blood donors, she said. 

Using one of the state’s three mobile blood drawing stations on Tuesday at the Branford Dunkin’ Donuts, donor John Michael McKittrick, 34, lay still as phlebotomist Barbara Kamianowski drew his blood. A veteran donor who has given more than 10 pints in his lifetime, McKittrick said, “I would do it anyway but it’s nice to pick a location where you get free coffee. It’s nice to know that you have a corporation that’s huge – even though they are locally owned – who is willing to do that.”

Finishing up his donation, McKittrick said he would be venturing into the Dunkin’ Donuts for his free pound of coffee. Regular flavor, he added.

“We have lived through an unprecedented economic downturn in the past five years, but the support of Dunkin ’Donuts has remained steadfast in their desire to help patients in the communities they serve,” said Donna M.Morrissey, Director of Communications for the American Red Cross Blood Services – Northeast Division. “We are very appreciative of Dunkin’ Donuts for its ongoing dedication to our lifesaving mission through the ‘Give a Pint, Ge ta Pound’ campaign which helps the Red Cross increase blood collections so that we can meet the daily needs of patients in area hospitals during the winter months.”

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