OAK PARK (WWJ) – ‘Tis the season to be jolly … and donate plasma.

“I give it for the cash; not to save lives,” said Christopher Gadsden of Detroit, “only for the money.”

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Plasma donation has become a popular side business for some in Metro Detroit — especially during the holidays.

WWJ’s Charlie Langton found Gadsden waiting his turn along with about 50 others outside CSL Plasma Center on 9 Mile Road in Oak Park, just outside of Detroit.

“I got here an hour early, actually, and I saw the line start to form and I’m like, let me get out there before I miss my spot,” said Gadsden. “You don’t wanna be here all day. If you was to get here at say, 10 o’clock, you’re looking at two hours, three hours of being in here.”

Gadsden is selling his plasma for money to by Christmas gifts.

“You can get $200 a month; and they try to do little deals where, like, the seventh donation you get an extra five dollars — just to keep drawing you back.”

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Gadsden said he’s been doing the plasma thing for about three years; but now that he’s found full-time employment, he thought about giving it up.

“I told them that once I got a job I’d quit donating, but I still need the extra money. So, I’m like go ahead and get it,” he said. “Trying to buy my little brother a gift, so all the extra money adds up.”

Donors typically receive $20 for the first donation and $30 for the second. After that it depends upon your weight and the total volume of plasma you donate

The donation process itself takes about 45 minutes. A donors sits hooked up to an automated plasmapheresis machine, which — through a needle in the arm — removes a donor’s whole blood, separates the plasma into a container, then re-infuses the red blood cells back into the body.

The plasma is used in treating patients suffering from a host of life-threatening conditions, including hemophilia, shock or trauma, immune deficiencies, and other blood disorders.

Plasma centers typically allow donors to give plasma two times per week. Donors must be over 18, submit to a physical exam, and fulfill a few other qualifications.

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[Find a donation center at this link].