By Steven Goodstein
A Bayside assemblyman is taking action in response to a statewide blood shortage.
State Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) will host his sixth annual Summer Blood Drive at the Bay Terrace Shopping Center Aug. 9 at 212th Street and 26th Avenue. Braunstein’s action comes after the shortage was announced by the New York Blood Center last month.
“A blood shortage emergency has been declared in New York and our hospitals are in need of your assistance,” Braunstein said, adding that each blood donation can help save up to three lives. “I hope you will take the time to share this life-saving gift.”
The New York Blood Center called on donors to volunteer this summer after recognizing the state only had a four-day reserve of each blood type, which includes the type O as well as the rare type B. The NYBC’s goal is to have a seven-day supply of every blood type.
The center is looking for all varients of blood types, from the rare types B and O-negative to O-positive. However, even though O-positive is not as rare, the Blood Center realizes that any blood donation will help the cause and improve the blood shortage.
According to the center, blood shortages are most likely to occur during the summer, making the situation even more critical.
Every blood drive participant will receive an electronic voucher for two tickets to a New York Mets home game at Citi Field. Additionally, the first 100 individuals to donate a pint of blood will get a certificate for a free pint of soup from Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen in Bay Terrace.
The deal is part of the deli’s Pint-for-Pint blood drive program that Ben’s has held at the shopping center for over 20 years.
“Ben’s has had it’s Pint for a Pint Blood Drive program for over 20 years now supporting every organization that requests these certificates which are good for a free pint of our famous homemade chicken soup for each pint of donated blood,” a spokesman from Ben’s said. “Give a pint, get a pint – that’s our motto for this event. We have partnered with Assemblyman Braunstein for some time now in this endeavor because we consider ourselves a part of the vibrant and diverse Queens community.”
The Mets recently held a blood drive of their own at Citi Field July 2, following a drive that was organized at Queens Center Mall June 30. Each of the Queens police precincts also held events last month to support the cause, including one at York College on Tuesday, July 10.
Each contributor is required to bring their donor card or ID, as well as a photo or signature. Donors must be between the ages of 16 and 75 and weigh at least 110 pounds. Only the 16-year-old donors must have parental consent and seniors 76 and over must provide a doctor’s note.
The individual donating blood should maintain a low-fat diet and also drink plenty of fluids leading up to the blood drive. Donors also cannot have gotten a tattoo within the last 12 months.
For more information about the blood drive, call Braunstein’s office at (718) 357-3588 or e-mail braun
Reach Steven Goodstein by e-mail at sgood