The New York Blood Center is making a plea for donors amid concerns it could fall short of current demands. NY1's Roger Clark filed the following report.
City worker Solanny Cuerto is a regular visitor to blood drives at her job at the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, or DCAS.
"My father died from cancer, and I know how important it is, how much cancer patients need blood," Cuerto said.
The New York Blood Center provides blood to some 200 area hospitals, and the need is even greater during the holiday season.
"Particularly this year, Christmas and New Year's fall on Wednesday, so people tend to take longer vacations, and because of it, people are just innocently not thinking of coming to donate blood," said Yadira Navarro of the New York Blood Center.
Donating is easy, so I gave it a shot myself. To donate, you generally have to be between 17 and 75 years of age, weigh a minimum of 110 pounds and be in good health. Sixteen-year-olds can donate with parental consent, and those over 75 can do so with a doctor's note.
"We really need anybody who can and is willing to come out and help us," Navarro said.
City workers are a huge help to the blood center, donating nearly 38,000 pints of blood last year.
"Our employees are particularly valued by New York Blood Center because we are so diverse and their clients are diverse, so our blood is particularly useful to them," said Andrew Wrubel, director of special programs at DCAS.
It all comes in handy, since the blood center relies on 2,000 blood donors every day to maintain an adequate supply.
"It's nothing more than a tiny little pin prick in your arm, and then, you sit there and read, and in 10 minutes, you're done," said one blood donor.
"It's easy. I do it all the time," said another.
For more information, call 800-933-BLOOD or visit nybloodcenter.org.