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Barrett celebrates successful bipartisan blood drive

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Tom Barrett on Thursday thanked his legislative colleagues for their support of an American Red Cross blood drive hosted Wednesday at the state Capitol.

“When I heard the Red Cross reached an emergency blood shortage earlier this year, I was able make contact with someone from the organization that I had met during the tornado response in Shiawassee County a few years ago,” said Barrett, R-Charlotte. “It was an honor to promote this joint effort between the Senate and House in partnership with the Red Cross, and it was great to see members of the nonpartisan legislative staff and members of both parties and both chambers come together to support this important effort. Donating blood to save lives is a bipartisan issue we can all get behind.”

In January, the Red Cross declared a national blood crisis, citing the organization’s largest blood supply shortage in more than a decade. The Red Cross supplies 40% of the nation’s blood and reports a 10% decline in donors since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“During the pandemic, a lot of the usual blood drives at churches and workplaces were canceled or postponed and that has had a detrimental effect on the Red Cross’s ability to supply hospitals with the blood that is needed,” Barrett said. “I am thankful to my legislative colleagues who stepped up to help yesterday. Even though this is my final year in the Michigan Senate, I hope this will become an annual event at the Capitol.”

With a goal of collecting 50 units of blood, the Capitol blood drive achieved 57 units of blood for the Red Cross from 60 participants. That is enough blood to save 171 lives as each unit has the potential to save up to three lives. Blood cannot be manufactured or stockpiled and can only be made available through the kindness of volunteer donors. Learn more at