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State workers sweep Grand Forks blood drive

State employees in Grand Forks County brought the heat -- and blood -- in an annual blood donation competition held Thursday in the Grand Forks County Building.

State workers donated head to head against county and city workers in the Holiday Blood Drive Challenge. As the drive wound down, almost 30 state employees had donated blood while the county and city followed at 14 and six donors respectively.

The usual number of donors participating in the drive is about 40 to 50, according to Mark Jensen who is the donor resource coordinator for Dak Minn Blood Bank.

This drive is the blood bank's last big push for December, a time Jensen considers the season of giving.

"People feel good knowing they can save a life or give someone that next Christmas with their family," he said. "What's better than giving the gift of life?"

Dak Minn has seen record high usage of blood this year in January, September and October. The recent back-to-back crunch had the bank working restock its supplies, according to Jensen.

The holiday drive will help carry the facility through to January, which is National Blood Donor Month and the month when Dak Minn gets some of its biggest donations.

In addition to blood drives, about 20 to 25 donors are needed each day by the bank to keep stock at adequate level. Jensen said its staff are always looking for more donors of all blood types at all times of the year.

Almost of the blood donated through Dak Minn stays local. Most of it is used for day-to-day procedures in Altru Hospital by a variety of patients such those fighting cancer or staying in the neonatal intensive care units.

Those interested in donating blood can call Dak Minn Blood Bank at (701) 780-5433 or visit its website

Call Jewett at (701) 780-1108, (800) 477-6572 ext. 1108 or send email to