MILLTOWN/SPOTSWOOD, NJ - Two area blood drives are set for early July to help ease the shortage that typically plagues blood centers in the summer months.

Donors should be between the ages of 17 and 75 and be in good physical health. A donor can be 16 years of age, but must have a parental consent form. Individuals 76 years of age and older can donate with a doctor's note. All donors should bring identification with a signature or a photo that includes a date of birth. Individuals with a donor card should bring the card.

The donation process takes about sixty minutes. Donors should hydrate well the day before they are scheduled to give blood. It's helpful to snack on salty snacks the evening before as well as get a good night's sleep prior to donating. Eating a well-balanced breakfast the morning of the donation is recommended. Donors should also bring a bottle of water along and drink right before donating.

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The Spotswood VFW Post 4589 will host a blood drive on July 1 from 1 p.m to 7 p.m. All donors receive a $10 Houlihan's Restaurant coupon. Appointments can be made online, using the sponsor code 13807.

The United Methodist Church in Milltown will host a blood drive on July 2 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Donors will also receive a $10 Houlihan's Restaurant coupon. Appointments can be made online, using the sponsor code 12506.

Walk-ins are welcome at both locations. For additional information on the blood donation process, visit the New York Blood Center's website.