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'We Bree-lieve': Hundreds answer the call for life-saving donations

'We Bree-lieve': Hundreds answer the call for life-saving donations

GREENVILLE, Mich. (UPDATE)-- A person from Be The Match Foundation says nearly 500 people stepped up to be tested to find out if they're a bone marrow match for Bree Town.

Bree, 10, is battling acute myeloid leukemia.  She's had more than 75 blood transfusions since she was diagnosed May 1, 2012. Her condition has relapsed and now Bree needs a bone marrow transplant to survive, on top of additional blood transfusions.  WZZM 13 profiled Bree and her fight to live last month.  You can find the story here.

Baldwin Heights Elementary held a bone marrow registration drive in her honor Wednesday evening.  Organizers say 248 people were tested at the school and another 20 were tested at Mersen.

Greenville churches to package 20,000 meals for Thanksgiving

Greenville churches to package 20,000 meals for Thanksgiving

GREENVILLE, Mich.-- This Saturday, 12 churches in the Greenville area will be holding a Kids Against Hunger Coalition food packing event. 

The team of volunteers will be packaging 20,000 meals for hungry children and their families.  Approximately 13,333 of those meals will be donated to local food pantries, with the remaining 6,667 going to victims of natural disasters as well as third world countries in dire need.  The event has been organized by the Greenville Ministerial Association with the help of Thrivent Financial Services. 

24 hour Deck Sit for Diabetes ends with dancing

24 hour Deck Sit for Diabetes ends with dancing

GREENVILLE, Mich.-- The Greenville Eagles 4321 invite the community to come by and support members taking part in the 24 hour Deck Sit for Diabetes starting Friday, November 8 at 9 a.m.

The fund-raising event will run through 9 p.m. Saturday, November 9 at the Greenville Eagles 4321 FOE, located at 11690 SW Greenville Road in Greenville. Bring your dance partner out on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. to kick up your heels to 50s and 60s music. Proceeds from the event will go to will the Robert W. Hansen Diabetes Fund.

For more event information or to donate, call (616)788-4075 or visit http://www.foe.com/.

Unlicensed body artists pose risk in Ionia County

Unlicensed body artists pose risk in Ionia County

IONIA COUNTY, Mich. – The Ionia County Health Department is warning residents about unlicensed tattoo and piercing artists who may be operating within the county.

Health Department officials say they recently were alerted to the issue within the community.  They say the potential health risks that come with body art may increase greatly when performed outside a licensed facility.  Health risks include hepatitis, HIV, skin infections including MRSA, and allergic reactions to pigments and dyes.

Ionia County is home to just one licensed body art facility, located in Orleans. 

Anyone with information about people performing unlicensed body art is asked to call the Ionia County Health Department at (616) 527-5341.

Navigate national health care with the 'Smart Choice' workshop October 16

Navigate national health care with the 'Smart Choice' workshop October 16

GREENVILLE, Mich.— A workshop designed to help millions of Americans navigate national health care will take place in Greenville Wednesday, October 16.

A team of extension experts from across the nation developed the program, called Smart Choice Health Insurance. It took two years of research and testing to compile the series of workshops, which are aimed at helping individuals select the best health insurance coverage for their situation.  Participants can learn how to analyze their needs, compare plans and calculate how coverage will affect their budget.  The program offers consumer workbooks in both Spanish and English.

American Red Cross is out for blood

American Red Cross is out for blood

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—It’s Halloween time, and the American Red Cross is out for blood. 

This month, the organization is partnering up with the Grand Rapids Ballet to offer donors a buy one, get one free coupon to the company’s performance of “Dracula.”

“Much like Dracula needed blood to stay alive, thousands of hospital patients also need this precious resource to survive,” said Todd Kulman, communications program manager with the Great Lakes Blood Services Region. 

This year’s production of Dracula returns with a newly orchestrated score and updated scenery and projections.

The American Red Cross will be holding blood drives at the following locations:

Thousands fed by team of volunteers and 'Kids Against Hunger'

Thousands fed by team of volunteers and 'Kids Against Hunger'

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—About a dozen children helped to fill the stomachs of other youth this weekend.

Kids Against Hunger Director Chuck Bailey estimates 11 children and one mentor from the Boys and Girls Club in Grand Rapids took part in Saturday's meal preparation event at Messiah Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids. Approximately 72 people participated, including church members and employees of Thrivent Financial Services for Lutherans, which also made a significant donation.  The team of volunteers packed 10,272 meals, with 3,240 of those meals going to North End Community Ministry at 214 Spencer NE.

Kids Against Hunger opened in Grand Rapids about three years ago.  Bailey says the number of people the organization helps grows each year.  This year, he expects the local branch will pack more than 1.3 million meals.