SUBSCRIBE NOW Just 99¢ for your first month



Zettel-Vandenhouten: Consider donating blood

If you’re eligible, consider donating. One donation can save three lives. That's a pretty solid way to make a difference in the community.

Phlebotomist Katie Johnson, of Superior, prepares for a blood donation to be sent to the lab at Memorial Blood Centers on Thursday, July 8, 2021, in Duluth.
Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune
We are part of The Trust Project.

I started giving blood in 2015.

It was a snap decision — the newsroom where I worked at the time was doing a mobile blood drive, so I signed up for an appointment and walked downstairs. Easy peasy.

I decided to keep donating because my father was fighting brain cancer at the time. I was doing everything I could to help him — taking him to appointments, jotting down notes, asking his doctor questions, pitching in with whatever else he needed.

But I still felt helpless. I needed something, anything, to make me feel like I was making a difference.

Donating blood seemed like a good option. I’m Type O-positive, so my blood can go to anyone with a positive blood type. I didn’t know my blood type until I started donating.


I’ve tried to keep giving blood regularly since then. I’ve given over a gallon, but I had to take a break. I couldn’t give blood when I was pregnant, and it seems like I’ve had a cold continuously since my son started day care last year.

But the beauty of giving blood is you can do it any time. There’s always a need.

And right now, the need is urgent.

We recently got over colds in our house, and since I’m feeling well, I set up an appointment to donate next week.

Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten
Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten, Regional Editor
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune

In looking at the Memorial Blood Centers website, I noticed there are several mobile blood drives scheduled throughout the Northland during the next month, as well as more frequent appointments available at MBC Donor Centers. Here are some of them:

  • Feb. 3: Lake Superior College, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m; UMD Kirby Student Center, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
  • Feb. 14: Northwood Technical College, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; UMD Housing & Residence Life, 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 21: College of St. Scholastica, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Community Memorial Hospital, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

If you’re eligible, consider donating. One donation can save three lives. That's a pretty solid way to make a difference in the community.
Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the editor of the Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.

Jen Zettel-Vandenhouten is the regional editor for Duluth Media Group, overseeing the Cloquet Pine Journal and the Superior Telegram.
What to read next
"Idolatry means the 'extreme admiration, love, or reverence for something or someone.' That’s more than an apt description of America’s obsession with guns."
As older kids grow their independence, they spend less time at home, depending on their parents. Katie Pinke shares her memories of how her mom developed her independence by riding her bike to the grocery store and how her daughters are growing their own interests this summer break.
We know there is still a lot of work ahead, but we’re not giving up.
Everyday treasures are sitting in plain sight all around us all the time, just waiting for us to take notice. Just waiting for us to remind ourselves, (in the words of David Foster Wallace) “This is water.”