ROCKFORD — The Rock River Valley Blood Center (RRVBC) is partnering with McDonald’s to provide a free drink voucher for a small Minute Maid slushie or small soft drink to all donors through the Labor Day holiday. The vouchers will be available at all four donor centers and mobile drives and can be redeemed at northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin McDonald’s locations.

“We are proud to partner with McDonald’s to provide refreshing drinks this summer to our valued donors,” said Lisa Entrikin, CEO of the Rock River Valley Blood Center. “Summer creates some challenges for the blood center as donations decrease due to travel and other summer commitments, and we hope the drink vouchers will encourage individuals to give when we need it most.”

COVID-19 also continues to cause present and future blood supply challenges, as many businesses that would normally host blood drives remain closed or are hesitant to host drives. The blood center needs to see 700 donors a week to maintain an adequate local blood supply and is currently only seeing 500 donors at its fixed sites each week.

Appointments are still preferred and encouraged, but walk-ins will be welcomed as long as donor centers and blood drives can comply with social distancing requirements. Schedule a donation at rrvbc.org, via the myRRVBC app or by calling 815-965-8751. Organizations are also encouraged to call about hosting blood drives to help support the community need.