HALE – Versiti Blood Center of Michigan is encouraging state residents to make an appointment to donate life-saving blood in July.

All blood types are needed, especially O-negative, which is the universal blood type given to patients in emergency situations and those undergoing surgery.

Versiti has arranged a number of blood drives in various communities throughout the month, including one in Hale this Friday, July 3, that will go on from 2-7 p.m. It will be hosted at In His Presence Hale Assembly of God, located at 3716 M-65.

For a list of the other planned community blood drives, go to versiti.org/Michigan. Residents can also donate blood at any of the eight Versiti donor centers in Michigan.

Representatives say that donating blood takes about an hour. Anyone age 17 or older in good health, who meets eligibility requirements, is encouraged to give. Parental consent is required for those age 16. When giving blood, donors should bring a photo ID which includes their birth date.

Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-866-642-5663 or visit Versiti online at http://www.versiti.org/Michigan.

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan, formerly Michigan Blood, has collected blood throughout the state since 1955.

Headquartered in Grand Rapids, the nonprofit organization provides blood products and services to more than 80 Michigan hospitals, collects nearly 115,000 units of blood each year at its donation centers and conducts more than 3,400 local community blood drives throughout the state.