It might look like a winter wonderland at times, but the winter weather is no wonderland for hospital patients who depend on blood to keep them healthy and alive. Detroit Lakes area residents are gearing up for a community blood drive to help ensure that there's a dependable local blood supply during harsh weather.

"In areas with harsh winter weather, cold temperatures and storms often keep people from donating blood," says a press release from Vitalant, formerly United Blood Services. "With fewer people donating blood, some parts of the country run the risk of having critical blood shortages.

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"For those who are venturing out and the winter weather hasn't dampened their routine, we invite them to stop by the blood drive and donate blood."

The Detroit Lakes Eagles Aerie & Auxiliary 2342 has scheduled a community blood drive on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call Terri Anderson at 218-849-7589. The drive will be held at the Eagles Club, 112 Holmes Street West, Detroit Lakes.

Volunteer blood donors must be at least 16 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Additional height/weight requirements apply to donors 22 and younger, and donors who are 16 and 17 must have a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian.

To help speed up the process, donors can now complete their Health History the day of their donation by visiting