Family of the late Cheryl Steinbrink sponsors blood drive, focuses on attracting first-time donors.

Even though Christmas and New Year's have come and gone, it is still considered the season of giving.

    That's what community members were doing at Trinity Lutheran Church in Crookston on Monday. To be more precise, they were donating blood through an event sponsored by the family of the late Cheryl Steinbrink. Cheryl died unexpectedly late last summer after complications arose following back surgery. During her fight, Cheryl received numerous units of donated blood.

    "It's kind of our way of giving back," Cheryl's husband, Robin Steinbrink, explained.

    There is usually a community blood drive in Crookston in November and another at the end of January in which donors can give what is often called "the gift of life." Monday's drive was to hopefully gain new donors, with a goal of 63.

    "We didn't want to take away from the ones before and after this one," Robin said. "We were targeting more like new donors, somebody that's never given before."

    As it was explained to donors on Monday, blood supply is in high demand. "Each day we lose donors for various reasons, whether it's medication or travel, or they move out of the area," United Blood Services representative Katie Bartelson said. "It's a constant challenge to find them. Robin's main goal was to help us find first time donors within the community. The need continues to rise."

    However, the bottom line for the purpose of the blood drive means much more than that for Robin. "It's to know that blood supplies are available for the loved ones still around," he said.