SPOTSWOOD, NJ - February is American Heart Month and winter is typically a time when blood donations drop according to Lynne Ross an account manager for New Jersey Blood Services. Ross explained that while donations are down during the cold weather months, demand due to cancer patients and the rise in flu cases and complications is not. In order to help combat the shortage the Spotswood VFW Post 4589 is hosting a community-wide blood drive on Monday, February 3 from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

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. Walk-ins are welcome, but donors can also schedule appointments online using the sponsor code 13807 or by telephoning 1-800-933-2566.

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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For additional information on the blood donation process, visit the New York Blood Center's website.

The Spotswood VFW is located on 33 Daniel Road in Spotswood.