NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - This weekend you can visit the Nashville Zoo and contribute to a great cause all at once. Blood Assurance set up a mobile blood drive outside the zoo's entrance Friday from 10am to 5pm.

“There is no easier way to make a difference in somebody’s life,” said Max Winitz, Blood Assurance Marketing and Public Relations Specialist.  

There is an urgent need for blood donations and companies like Blood Assurance have seen the impact first-hand.  

“There are really three reasons why there is a blood shortage right now. One, because elective surgeries are happening again. More people are scheduling those surgeries that were originally going to take place in 2020,” said Winitz. 

This Friday Blood Assurance made it easy for people to donate. The organization brought their bloodmobile to the Nashville Zoo. 

Bysimply donating blood, that can save up to three lives,” statedWinitz. 

Since the shortage is a nationwide issue, the American Red Cross is also hoping for more donations.  

“If we continue in this shortage that we are seeing, we are looking at a loss of 2500 to 2700 pints of blood compared to this time last year,” said Sherri McKinney, Regional Communications Director for TN Region American Red Cross. 

McKinney says the shortage has even put a strain on area hospitals.  

“When we are talking about here in Nashville, the state's only level one trauma center, having an issue for blood is significant,” McKinney said. 

In addition to Friday, Blood Assurance will host another drive Saturday from 10am-5pm at the Nashville Zoo.   

Anyone who donated Friday received free zoo admission and a Papa John's gift card. On Saturday, donors will receive free zoo admission and an insulated tote bag.

Participants do not need to schedule an appointment, though it is encouraged. Eligible donors must be at least 17 years old or 16 with parental consent. 

To schedule an appointment click here. 


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