Local smoothie shop, Blenders in the Grass, is mixing smoothies with charity this week and next week as it teams up with the Tri-Counties Blood Bank to promote blood donations in Santa Barbara County.

The Tri-Counties Blood Bank and Blenders in the Grass are currently offering people who donate blood before April 15 a coupon for a free 24-ounce smoothie that can be redeemed at all Blenders locations in Santa Barbara. Coupons are available to donors who visit the Tri-Counties Blood Bank’s Santa Barbara Center at 902 Laguna St. in Santa Barbara and to those who donate at blood drives as well. The promotion is designed to boost donor turnout during the first few weeks of spring, which is traditionally a slow donation period for the blood bank, Tri-Counties Blood Bank Community Relations Director Scott Edward said.

“Basically this time of year – the last two weeks of March and the first two [weeks] of April – is when Spring Break occurs, and this leads to a decline in our ability to have drives at schools and a subsequent drop in donations,” Edward said.

Blenders, which got its start in Isla Vista, currently operates at nine locations throughout the Santa Barbara area. Edward said he hopes the promotion will bring in many new blood donors before it ends.

“We hope to give away at least 1,200 coupons in the Santa Barbara area only before April 15, which is when the promotion ends,” Edward said.

Edward said the coupons have already inspired many people to donate blood. He said he thinks the promotion is responsible for helping to convince people to show up and donate during the recent rainstorms.

“So far we have been extremely successful,” Edward said. “When it’s raining like this, we get a lot of calls from people that were going to show up now feeling sick and many people don’t want to leave their houses, but this promotion and its exposure have caused a definite turnaround.”

Edward said the promotion is also an opportunity for the blood bank to thank people who make an effort to donate blood despite the recent bad weather.

“We want people to be aware that there is still a need for these donations, and we want to reward those that come with some high-quality juice,” Edward said.

According to the Tri-Counties Blood Bank website, www.blood4life.org, there will be a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 11 in the Yardi Systems parking lot at 430 S. Fairview Road in Goleta.