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SGAD Partner Spotlight: Memorial Blood Centers

Surly Gives A Damn works with many charitable organizations across the Twin Cities to give back to the communities and neighborhoods that support us. Throughout 2021, we’re going to highlight some of the longest-running SGAD partners and what they do.

Who:  Memorial Blood Centers

What: Memorial Blood Centers have been saving and sustaining lives since 1948. A Minnesota-based, independent nonprofit, they supply life-saving blood, state-of-the-art laboratory services, and biomedical expertise to area hospital and clinic partners, national blood centers, biotechnology companies, research institutions, and international clients from Australia to Switzerland.

How: Surly Gives A Damn and Memorial Blood Centers have been partnering since SGAD’s inception. We organized our first “Blood Letting” in 2010 at the Brooklyn Center brewery. We quickly came to find that blood was needed most over the holidays. So, we set out to fill that need and have been running two blood drives every year: one over the 4th of July and one the week between Christmas and New Year’s. We continued along that path until COVID hit. Mobile blood drives were getting cancelled and the need was exacerbated. Thanks to Surly Nation, we were able to fill up four emergency blood drives in 2020 alone, sending off 312 units of blood to folks who needed it.

Every year our Surly events grow in size and more community heroes step up to help patients in need,” says MBC’s Emily Csargo. “Since 2010, we’ve collected 1,587 life-saving units! That means the SGAD group has helped to save and sustain the lives of 4,761 people. We are grateful to have our partnership with Surly and their strong connection to our community! We look forward to many more years!”

SGAD’s Mary Sellke on Memorial Blood Centers: “I appreciate MBC and our partnership. Their team really makes getting the community involved and saving lives easy. Thanks for all you do!”

The Future: We’ll continue to host drives over the holidays and whenever MBC calls and needs a hand, we will always be there to help.

And they definitely need a hand right now: per MBC, Minnesota has a 3-day supply of blood, which is not enough to meet the needs of local hospitals. To do our part, we’re hosting a Summer Holiday Blood Drive in the Minneapolis brewery parking lot on Thursday, July 1st. Our goal is 110 units. Please sign up if you can:

Every donor will receive a Surly pint glass, a free beer coupon to use at the Surly Beer Hall (best used at a later date when not giving blood), and a MBC t-shirt. If you are in town for the 4th of July, come out and save a life.

In addition to future SGAD events, Memorial Blood Centers can help you find opportunities to donate blood, time, venues, and/or money at their website:


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