With blood supplies at critically low levels during the COVID-19 pandemic, an emergency appeal to donors is being made for three December blood drives scheduled at Franciscan Health Michigan City and Franciscan Health Fitness Centers in Schererville.

The blood drives held by Versiti Blood Center will be 10AM to 3PM on Monday, Dec. 7 and Friday, Dec. 18 at Franciscan Health Michigan City. Donations will be taken in the Versiti Blood Drive Bus, which will be located outside Entrance A at the hospital at 3500 Franciscan Way.

A third blood drive will be 3-7PM on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at Franciscan Health Fitness Centers Schererville, 221 U.S. 41.

Coraima Applegate, account representative of Versiti Blood Center of Illinois, said she hopes the public will hear the appeal for donations. “When times are tough, it is the strength of our community that carries us through. COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the blood supply. Please help save the lives of local hospital patients in need. People need people and lives depend on these selfless acts of kindness,” she said.

The COVID-19 antibody test is performed on every blood donation. Appointments are encouraged and can be scheduled by going online at versiti.org/IL or by calling 1-800-7TO-Give (1-800-786-4483) and choosing your preferred time. Walk-ins are also welcome as the schedule and social distancing allow. Identification is required, and donors must wear a mask.

Versiti Blood Center is the primary blood provider to Franciscan Health. All donations go to more than 70 hospitals in Indiana and Illinois.