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Give Blood, Get a Pound of Coffee

This is the fifth year that the American Red Cross is teaming up with Dunkin’ Donuts. There's a Red Cross donation center on Westport Road in Norwalk.

Now in its fifth year, the partnership between and the American Red Cross has potentially saved up to one million lives.

With a promotion called “Give a Pint, Get a Pound,” during the month of January the American Red Cross will give out a coupon for a free pound of Dunkin Donuts coffee redeemable at franchises in the Northeast. The coupon goes to all presenting donors willing to give pints of blood

“Give a Pint, Get a Pound” is being held in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont. There are more than 120 blood drives in Connecticut this month, including some near Darien. You can also give at the at 596 Westport Ave. in Norwalk (see map attached to this article).

Blood drives near Darien in January include:

  • Jan. 14—Stamford: 32 Strawberry Hill Ct., from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • Jan. 18—Norwalk: Carter USA, Riverpark, 800 Connecticut Ave., from 7:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.
  • Jan. 23—New Canaan: 111 Oenoke Ridge Rd., from 1:45 to 7 p.m.
  • Jan. 28—Stamford: , 1184 Newfield Ave., from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

According to Elaine St. Peter, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross, January has always been a difficult time of year to collect blood. Since the partnership with Dunkin’ began, she said, “Now January is a much better month because people love to come get their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee and help those in need.”

St. Peter said the Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross distributes about 650 pints of blood daily to state hospitals. The need is great year-round and the “Give a Pint, Get a Pound,” she said, really helps to get people out in the colder months when blood donation is generally down. Since the campaign launced there has been a 16% increase in January blood donors, she said. 

Using one of the state’s three mobile blood drawing stations on Tuesday at the Branford Dunkin’ Donuts, Branford resident John Michael McKittrick, 34, lay still as phlebotomist Barbara Kamianowski drew his blood. A veteran donor who has given more than 10 pints in his lifetime, McKittrick said, “I would do it anyway but it’s nice to pick a location where you get free coffee. It’s nice to know that you have a corporation that’s huge—even though they are locally owned – who is willing to do that.”

Finishing up his donation, McKittrick said he would be venturing into the Dunkin’ Donuts for his free pound of coffee. Regular flavor, he added.

“We have lived through an unprecedented economic downturn in the past five years, but the support of Dunkin ’Donuts has remained steadfast in their desire to help patients in the communities they serve,” said Donna M.Morrissey, Director of Communications for the American Red Cross Blood Services—Northeast Division. “We are very appreciative of Dunkin’ Donuts for its ongoing dedication to our lifesaving mission through the ‘Give a Pint, Ge ta Pound’ campaign which helps the Red Cross increase blood collections so that we can meet the daily needs of patients in area hospitals during the winter months.”

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