Local breweries team up to encourage blood donations

During the month of August, all presenting donors at Rhode Island Blood Center’s (RIBC) six blood and platelet donation centers who are 21 or older can choose to receive a coupon for a free pint of beer. Participating breweries include Whalers Brewing Company in South Kingstown, Grey Sail Brewing in Westerly, Foolproof in Pawtucket, The Guild in Pawtucket, Proclamation Ale Company in Warwick, and Newport Craft Brewing Co. in Newport. 

A typical blood donation is one pint, which can help save up to three lives by being processed into three blood products -- red cells, platelets and plasma. Summer being a particularly challenging time when blood centers across the country struggle to prevent shortages, Kara LeBlanc, manager of marketing communications at RIBC, says, “We’re competing with beautiful beach days, vacations, and schools that regularly hold drives being out of session. But patients do not get a break from needing blood. We appreciate these local organizations coming together encouraging the community to help someone else in need of blood by thanking donors with a pint of their own brew.” 

Emily Sorlien, brand manager of Whalers, says, “When the Blood Center first approached us about partnering for blood drive promotion, it was a no brainer for us. We see the Whalers taproom as a very community oriented space, so being able to give back to this community, which has been so supportive of us over the years, is very meaningful to us. We had really positive feedback from staff and customers the first time around, so we were happy to help again this summer. It’s great to see other breweries joining in, too.” 

Blood is needed to help women and newborns during complications with childbirth; people battling cancer or undergoing chemotherapy; people who have suffered trauma or severe burns; people with heart and kidney disease and blood disorders like sickle cell anemia; and individuals who need surgery and organ transplants. 

All presenting center donors in August will also be automatically entered into a drawing to win a pair of tickets to see the New England Patriots home opener at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, September 8. Donors 16 years and older will be eligible for the Patriot’s ticket drawing. Donors must be 21 years of age to participate in the pint for a pint program. To encourage responsible drinking, coupons cannot be redeemed on the same day as the blood or platelet donation. Breweries strictly enforce checking identification of patrons to ensure they are of legal drinking age.

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