American Red Cross, Best Buy Thank Blood Donor

October 19, 2010

Portage Resident Wins Gift Card, Advice from Personal Shopper


Jake Branch (center) receives a $500 gift card to Best Buy from Monica Stoneking (left), Communications Manager for the 
Great Lakes Region of the American Red Cross and Doug Storey (right), Electronics Manager at Best Buy.



Lansing, MI – When Jake Branch donated blood in August, he didn’t do it to win anything.  He did it because it felt like the right thing to do.

“I’d only donated blood once before.  I was on campus and decided to do it,” said Branch, an Ottawa county resident.  “It didn’t take long and it’s cool to know I helped save a life.”

Branch not only helped save lives by deciding to donate blood through the Red Cross at Western Michigan University’s Bernard Center on August 17, he also won a $500 Best Buy gift card.  Branch’s name was randomly selected from more than 10,000 individuals who attempted to donate blood or platelets during the month of August.

Best Buy continues to be a huge supporter of the Red Cross Blood Program, holding blood drives and encouraging employees to donate blood.  Thanks to organizations like Best Buy, the Red Cross is able to be good stewards of Michigan’s blood supply, providing hospitals with the blood products they need when they need them most.

“It is exciting to see how our partnership with the American Red Cross has grown,” said Jennifer Chopp, Community Relationship Program Lead for Best Buy Michigan Market. “It feels good to give back to our communities and the organizations that serve them well.” 

Branch received his $500 Best Buy gift card on Wednesday, October 13 and was given the red carpet treatment by Best Buy employees at the Kalamazoo store.  Electronics Manager Doug Storey presented Branch with an oversized check and became a personal shopper, helping Branch decide what to purchase.

“I’m an electronics guru,” Branch said.  “I’ve got all the latest gadgets, so this is like being a kid in a candy store.”

Branch left the store with a cartful of video games, movies, and neglected to purchase the much-needed washer and dryer he had his eye on.

The Best Buy/American Red Cross summer giveaway ended August 31, but will resume in December when blood donations typically decline because of holiday travel and poor weather conditions.  All eligible donors are encouraged to call 1-800-REDCROSS or visit to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets.