FANWOOD/SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The doors of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA may be closed, but the Y is open for good with team members working to assist their neighbors in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, May 15, the Y held a Blood Drive with the American Red Cross. The gym was turned into a donation center, with 50 individuals donating 40 pints of blood, which will help 120 people. Blood donations support people of all ages, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those battling cancer. According to the Red Cross, every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

If you are interested in donating blood, please visit redcrossblood.org and type in your zip code to locate local drives.

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“As a community organization, our focus is on giving back and providing support to our neighbors,” said Kim Decker, CEO of the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA. “Since the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, we have been working with our community partners on ways we can be of service, whether it’s collecting food for local pantries, hosting blood drives, checking in on seniors, donating supplies or other needs that arise.”

In addition, the Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA is collecting non-perishable items for local food banks, which are seeing an increase in need. Bins are set up outside the Y building – located at 1340 Martine Ave. in Scotch Plains – for Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Scotch Plains and Fanwood Presbyterian Church. The needs of each food bank are labeled on each bin. They include:

  • Decaf or Regular Coffee (ground or instant)
  • Tea
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Cereal
  • Canned meat (i.e. SPAM, Vienna Sausages, chili)
  • Canned milk (i.e. Carnation Milk cans)
  • Canned pasta (i.e. Chef Boyardee)
  • Canned fruit
  • Oil (vegetable, canola or olive)
  • Pasta sauce
  • Canned vegetables
  • Tuna fish
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Snacks
  • Cake mixes
  • Mac and cheese
  • Full-size toiletries

“Whether or not our doors are open, the Y remains dedicated to helping our friends and neighbors,” Decker said. “During this time, it’s important to support each other as much as we can and work together to help our community thrive.”

The Fanwood-Scotch Plains YMCA is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the individuals, families and communities it serves through programs and services that build wholeness of spirit, mind and body. The YMCA is a not-for-profit organization founded on Christian principles, serving people of all ages, races, faith, cultures and socio-economic conditions. For more information, visit FSPYMCA.org