As a critical need for blood donations continues this summer, the American Red Cross will hold a blood drive on Thursday, August 23 from 2 to 7 p.m. at its Jersey Coast donation center, 1540 West Park Avenue, Ocean.

While all blood types will be accepted, there is a specific need for type O.

Appointments can be made by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

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All individuals who donate blood or platelets through August 30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card. More information and details are available by clicking here.

Central Jersey Blood Center (CJBC) is holding a summer raffle to encourage blood donations at one of its donation centers (see below). Blood donors will receive a raffle ticket for a chance to win a $2,000 Norwegian Cruise Line vacation or a $1,500 shopping spree at Jersey Shore Premium Outlets, Neptune. Donors can earn an additional raffle ticket by referring people, or bringing family or friends who have not previously donated to CJBC.

The raffle runs through September 4, when the winning tickets will be drawn.

Central Jersey Blood Donor Centers

  • Shrewsbury: 494 Sycamore Avenue, Shrewsbury; 732-842-5750; Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Tuesday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Thursday, noon to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. 
  • Howell: Howell Plaza Shopping Center, 4068 Route 9 South; 732-901-0720; Monday and Wednesday, noon to 8 p.m.; Thursday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Closed Tuesday and Sunday.
  • Toms River: Indian Head Shopping Plaza, 1256 Indian Head Road and Route 9 South; 732-349-3110; Monday, noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Call 1-888-71-BLOOD (2 5663) or visit www.cjbcblood.org to schedule an appointment or for more information.

To ensure the safety of blood donation for both donors and recipients, all volunteer blood donors are evaluated to determine their eligibility to give blood. If you did not meet eligibility requirements in the past, you may be able to donate at another time.

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