Jeep Grand Cherokee Heater and Leaking Coolant Problem?

About a week ago my heater just decided to stop working. The fan only blows cold air. After doing some research I found that it is a common problem in my 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo for the heater blend doors to stop working. I assumed this was the problem and have been searching for the best and least expensive fix (about $80 for new doors)

Shortly after my heater quick working I was driving and my temperature gauge shot up to about 240 degrees and in the red zone. I popped the hood and discovered I was low on coolant. About 2 large bottles of pre-diluted anti-freeze/coolant later, I was full. I haven't driven too far and I can't say that I paid too close of attention before but it seems that my temp gauge climbs very quickly even after the refill. I haven't exceeded the medium marker of 210 degrees, but I still worry.

Then today, I checked my coolant levels again after hearing a gurgling noise coming from behind my glove box (probably the heater core) whenever I shut the car off. Again I was low on coolant and noticed a puddle below and behind my radiator fan.

Here is my question: Are these two problems linked together? Could a leak in my radiator cause my heater to quick working? or if there was a problem with my heater (or the blend doors) would it cause me to continually lose coolant?

Any help is appreciated as I am a poor college student and I don't really trust many mechanics.

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