Residents from Caldwell, Verona, Cedar Grove and other nearby towns lined up at the Cedar Grove Ambulance and Rescue Squad Monday waiting for their turn to donate blood.
The Blood Center of New Jersey (BCNJ) is in a Severe Emergency Blood Shortage situation and needs all those who are eligible to donate, according to rescue squad members. Snow storms and seasonal flus have contributed to the blood shortage.
Darlene Black-Webb, a registered nurse and team leader for the Blood Center of New Jersey has been assisting with blood donations for 40 years. Besides the obvious benefits of donating blood to help those in need, she said, blood donations also have a positive effect for the donor.
“It's good for people to build new cells, it's like an oil change for your body,” she said.
Caldwell resident Liz Flack tries to donate blood as often as she can, especially since she is a universal donor with a blood type of O negative.
“It's easy and you can help people with just a pinch,” she said.
All donors received $15 in gift cards to Shop Rite as well as a free rejuvenating snack and juice.
By the end of the blood drive, 90 people had made donations and the Blood Center of New Jersey collected 79 pints of blood, said Larson.
Upcoming Blood Drives
The following drives are listed on the Blood Center of New Jersey's webste.Feb. 23 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament 28 Livingston Ave., Roseland March 11 2 to 8 p.m. Cedar Grove Ambulance Squad 651 Pompton Ave., Cedar Grove March 13 3 to 8 p.m. West Essex First Aid Squad 624 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell April 23 3 to 8 p.m. First Presbyterian Church of Caldwell 326 Bloomfield Ave., Caldwell