The Nashville Predators will host a blood drive on Friday, Feb. 26 at Hendersonville Community Church.

With 79 Nashville area blood drives cancelled in the month of February due to inclement weather, a blood drive scheduled for this week in Hendersonville is “desperately needed,” according to American Red Cross spokesperson Sherri McKinney.

The Nashville Predators and the American Red Cross are hosting a blood drive at Hendersonville Community Church on Friday, Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The blood drive is one of several across Tennessee the professional hockey team is hosting this week.

Donors will receive a Predators foam puck and be entered to win a Preds and Red Cross branded puck signed by a current Predators player. (There will be one winner per location). All donors will also receive a $5 Amazon gift card via email.

McKinney, who is regional director of communications for the American Red Cross in Nashville, said that blood donations are needed now more than ever.

“Winter is a hard time for donations to begin with,” she said. “Mix in COVID-19 and it’s a disaster.”

The cancellation of nearly 80 area blood drives this month means the loss of 1,783 uncollected donations, McKinney added.

“For us, this is not about reaching goals or making quotas – it’s about saving lives,” she said.

The need for blood is a constant one since it has a shelf-life and can’t be stored forever, McKinney noted.

Those who donate blood on Feb. 26 will automatically be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. Donors will be notified whether they test positive or negative for the antibodies.

Anyone who has received the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is also eligible to donate blood, according to McKinney.

Interested donors may go to www.redcrossblood.org to make an appointment. Participants are asked to enter the sponsor code PREDS19!