UNION COUNTY — Since last fall when NJ Blood Services (NJBS) opened its new donor room doors at 2279 South Avenue in Scotch Plains, they have been recruiting local businesses to donate blood and become official sponsors in their mission to save lives.
Those who have stepped up to show their community minded spirit are Charlie Brown’s Restaurant, Tom The Greengrocer and Coldwell Banker Real Estate, whose employees have made more than 500 whole blood, platelet and double red blood donations.
“We are looking for businesses to pledge 25 blood donations over a one year period of time,” said NJBS Director of Recruitment & Retention, Marie Forrestal. “It could be 25 employees donating once, or a few employees donating more frequently.”
She said NJBS is recruiting sponsors from businesses, as well as local community groups, such as local rescue groups, houses of worship and civic organizations.
At this time of year especially, blood donations are critical to area hospitals, since supplies become dangerously low during the summer months.
“During the months when schools are closed we can no longer depend on our high school and college students to fill the need for blood,” she noted. “Also, so many regular donors take vacations and don’t take time to donate. So we are asking our local business to help fill that need and come into the center to become a sponsor and donate.”
NJBS chose to open the new state-of-the-art facility in Scotch Plains because Union County boasts the highest concentration of platelet and whole blood donors in the state. However, the center was designed to be much more than just a facility to donate blood.
“Over the past year, the donor room has become a hub for area residents to meet,” Forrestal pointed out. “We also exhibit the works of local artists, as well as host a book club. Donors can meet new friends after donating and enjoy a pleasant environment.”
She said that the South Avenue Gallery located within the center, features exhibits that rotate every two months. Presently, the Teens Art Exhibit of Union County is on display and open to the public to view, and encouraged to donating blood while visiting the facility.
Local businesses interested in becoming a sponsor at the NJBS donor room should contact NJBS Manager of Community Relations, Jan Zepka at 1-732-616-8741.
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