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Red Cross offers a cool, sweet deal

Hurricane Irene spurs ice cream for blood donation swap

With Hurricane Irene intensifying the need for blood donations, the American Red Cross is offering all donors who make an appointment between Sept. 1 and 7 a coupon for a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice Cream.

According to Red Cross officials, the blood supply was already low before the storm, and Hurricane Irene has already caused the cancellation of more than 60 blood drives, resulting in a shortfall of more than 2,100 donations during the past few days. These numbers are expected to go up due to power outages and storm damage in many areas of the country.

'Our community relies heavily on volunteer blood donors. That reliance is even stronger during the summer months, around holidays, and with unforeseen events like Hurricane Irene. Needs often rise during these times and many people feel too busy to give blood,' says Steve Stegeman, the Red Cross's Pacific Northwest Regional CEO.

Those receiving the coupon can present it at participating Ben and Jerry's story or participating grocery store. Ben and Jerry's is well known for flavors like Chunky Monkey, Cherry Garcia, and Chubby Hubby. The coupons are only available as long as they last, however.

'In order to raise donation levels around the Labor Day holiday, we are offering this special pint-for-a-pint promotion. It's our cool way of thanking folks who make time to donate during this important time," says Stegeman.

The Red Cross wants donors to know that it is necessary to make an appointment to receive a coupon for their pint of ice cream. Appointments can be made by calling 1-800-RED CROSS or visiting the organization's website at www.redcrossblood.org .