GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — This Saturday marks Juneteenth, the day the Emancipation Proclamation reached all parts of the country, ending slavery in the United States. It is also World Sickle Cell Awareness Day.

Versiti Blood Center of Michigan is hosting a blood drive in honor of both.

Dawn Kaiser with Versiti says the disease is most often found in African American and Hispanic communities. Many people with sickle cell need blood transfusions, and it is hard to find this rare blood type.

Only about 4% of donors have the Ro blood type. The goal of the Juneteenth blood drive is to get a more diverse blood supply. 

Anyone who can donate is encouraged to do so, especially with the nation in a critical blood shortage.

The blood drive will be from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Baxter Community Center in Grand Rapids. Donors can make an appointment or just walk in.