SCOTCH PLAINS — Aside from being a community center to donate whole blood and platelets, New Jersey Blood Services (NJBS), a division of the New York Blood Center (NYBC), is now host to the Gallery at South Avenue where the 2010 Teen Arts Traveling Exhibit is presently on exhibit.
The NJBS gallery is the second stop for the teen art exhibit which is on a year-long tour throughout Union County. It consists of 62 pieces of art, that were selected by professional artists, from more than 700 pieces that were exhibited at the county wide Teen Arts Festival held last March at Union County College in Cranford.
Aside from having talented young artist, Union County boasts the highest concentration of platelet and whole blood donors in the state, and the need for both is so great. However, the center was designed to be much more than a facility to donate blood.
“Our Scotch Plains donor center has fast become a go-to destination for area residents,” said Marie Forrestal, Manager of Donor Recruitment & Retention at NJBS. “When we opened last year, our goal was to make it a destination and community hub, and not just a blood center and we’ve already succeeded.”
She said that the Gallery at South Avenue, which is located within the center, has been featuring the works of local artists, with the exhibits rotating every two months. The center also hosts a book club at the site.
“Our purpose is to encourage Union County residents to come out to view our exhibits, meet new friends at our book club, and to take time to donate blood help save lives,” and she added, “There is a special need for O negative blood, which is the universal type and can be transfused into other blood types, as well as an on-going need for platelets.”
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