Pint for a Pint Blood Drive takes place this weekend

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- It's the sweetest deal in the Valley. A pint of blood for a free pint of Baskin Robbins ice cream, but this year the need is even greater.

"With the current state of affairs with the pandemic and all the uncertainty surrounding our community, the need for blood hasn't stopped at all, it never stops," said Ersilia Lacaze with the Central California Blood Center.

The summer months are always the most challenging time for blood donations. This year is no exception.

"That need, those occurrences where the blood is needed is still very much there and so for us, it's just important to do our best to collect the products we need for these local hospitals," added Lacaze.

The 33rd annual Pint for a Pint Blood Drive kicks off this weekend and things will look a little different.

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"There are so many things in place to ensure the safety of both our donor our staff and the blood," said Lacaze. "We've begun to add additional cleaning schedules to our regular cleaning schedules. We have temperatures being taken at the front. We have more signage."

The most critical need is donors who've recovered from COVID-19.

"The rational there is the plasma contains critical antibodies that can then be of great help for folks battling COVID in the hospital," explained Lacaze. "That hospital need is getting greater and greater every day."

Appointments are encouraged but walk-ins are also welcome. You can donate from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. on Friday or 9-3 on Saturday at the Central California Blood Center locations in Fresno, Visalia or Clovis.
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