News Details

COUNTY TEAMS UP WITH THE RED CROSS Blood Donors are Sought to Meet Critical Need

(Woodbury, NJ) - Current regional blood supplies are low and Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Dr. Warren Wallace announced today that Gloucester County is teaming up with the American Red Cross for a blood drive.

The Gloucester County Employees drive will be held on August 24 from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM at the Kemble United Methodist Church in Woodbury. All those who come to the blood drive to donate will receive a keychain and have the chance to win prizes such as hats and tee-shirts. The grand prize is a year's supply of gas, up to a $2,000 value. The blood drive is open to the public.

"Lives depend on blood donations, and the summer months tend to deplete blood supplies," said Freeholder Director Sweeney. "Most people know someone who has needed blood during an emergency or planned surgery and across the nation, someone needs blood every few seconds. I want to encourage anyone who has considered donating blood to give it a try," stated Director Sweeney.

Sweeney explained that blood donations go to trauma victims, surgery patients, individuals living with sickle cell disease, cancer patients and premature infants. The increased need for blood donations in the summer months may be attributed to the three major holidays bringing about increases in accidents and some donors are busy with vacations and such. The American Red Cross aims to keep a five-day supply on hand to be best prepared for the needs of the region. There is a special need for African American donors because they are the best matches for patients with sickle cell disease. According to the American Red Cross, sickle cell disease is an inherited disease that affects more than 70,000 people in the United States, ninety percent of whom are of African descent. In our area, the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia would receive the donations for patients with sickle cell disease. The disease is not curable but treatment includes blood transfusions which help manage the disease. Donors who want to help can have their donation given to these children in need by using a special blue tag available at the blood drive.

Freeholder Warren Wallace, liaison to the Department of Human Services said, "By giving blood you are helping to save lives, and the friends and family of those you help are grateful for your generosity. Our employees schedule several blood drives with the Gloucester County Chapter of the American Red Cross each year, they are a very important organization in our community who help many."

Wallace said, "If you can't get to the County Employees blood drive on August 24th, there are several others scheduled throughout the county through the end of August. You can call the American Red Cross and they will help you find a location near you to donate blood, they make it easy to be a donor." A local schedule can be found on the internet by going to
www.arcgloucesterco.org/howtohelp/bloodcalendar.html

According to the American Red Cross, most healthy people who are at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds are eligible to donate blood every 56 days. Donors must bring appropriate identification such as a driver's license or American Red Cross donor card.

To schedule your appointment to donate blood, please call 1-800-GIVE LIFE (1-800-448-3543).