To help collect and replace some of the 2,000 pints of blood that were not donated due to the post-Christmas day blizzard, the New York Mets hosted an annual winter blood drive in partnership with the New York Blood center.
“We are hosting this blood drive to replenish the supply of blood lost during the recent blizzard,” said Dianna Zaferiou, staff member at the New York Blood Center. “We appreciate the Mets for letting us use their facilities.”
This blood drive, held on Thursday, January 6, will only replace a quarter of the lost blood, since the goal of the drive was 500 pints of blood.
“We are still looking to replenish the supply lost in the blizzard,” said Leslie Gonzalez, spokesperson for the New York Blood Center. “It is a general blood collection to child patients suffering from leukemia and family needs.”
The blood center uses the component collection system called ALYX, which separates red blood cells from the platelets and plasma leaving a concentrated form of red blood cells. This allows machine doctors to take two units of blood from the donor, which maximizes how much blood they receive to save lives. Since it is a delicate operation, there are certain height and weight requirements to qualify to use the machine.
“It is important for people to come out and spread the word and keep the circulation of blood flowing to different families and businesses to draw blood,” said Andrew Martin, executive director of the blood center. “It’s a huge critical time around Christmas and New Year’s because people don’t donate blood.”
Donors have also been spreading the word anyway they can.
“I try to spread the word on Facebook anytime I get the chance,” said Bryan Lopez, a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
He has been donating blood for five years and started out donating with his father.
“I am with it because it is going to a noble cause,” said donor Jose Roman. “I worked in the hospital for 20 years, so I take this very seriously and understand that blood is in high demand.”
“It is cool, I just do it to get free Mets tickets, but I spread the word by emailing to everyone at my job,” said Jennifer Correa, manager at the New York Hall of Science.