Mercedes-Benz U.S. International will take advantage of its shuttered Vance plant and host a blood drive Tuesday to assist DCH Health System with a critical need for blood.

MBUSI spokeswoman Felyicia Jerald said with production halted at the plant for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus, the company wanted to do something more for the Tuscaloosa area in these trying times.

“Our Team Members health and safety has top priority for Mercedes-Benz," Jerald said. "Being closed for the next two weeks gives us the perfect opportunity to assist our community."

MBUSI will host LifeSouth in the Vance plant’s Admin 1 parking lot from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and aim to collect donations from up to 30 donors per hour.

Bryan Kindred, the President and CEO of the DCH Health System, thanked MBUSI for organizing the event at a time when donated blood is urgently needed.

“We are fortunate to have a partner such as Mercedes-Benz committed to our health and safety,” Bryan Kindred said. “The current blood shortage could affect patients in our community who need immediate surgery, victims of car accidents and other emergencies, or patients fighting cancer. This effort has the potential to make a tremendous positive impact.”

The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce also thanked MBUSI for taking this step despite widespread economic uncertainty as businesses around the world are forced to temporarily shut down to fight against the pandemic.

The blood drive is just one more way Mercedes-Benz U.S. International can partner with West Alabama, said Donny Jones, Chief Operating Officer of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and Executive Director of West Alabama Works.

“MBUSI has been a close community partner for two decades,” said Chamber COO Donny Jones “Philanthropy efforts such as this demonstrate why we are so fortunate they call West Alabama home.”

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