WAYNE, NJ – The Wayne Township Public Library hosted a Red Cross blood drive on Friday which was a “great success,” according to Doreen Shaba, the assistant director of the Wayne Public Library. “We host several blood drives throughout the year and the Wayne community always respond to our call to donate blood whenever the library hosts one. Now with Hurricane Dorian’s devastation, the need is even more urgent for the Red Cross to respond to disaster areas hit by this hurricane.”

“I give blood to save lives,” said Rachel Coviello a Wayne resident and Wayne Valley graduate. “It’s easy. It’s something that I’m fortunate enough to be able to do.  Not everyone can give blood, so those of us who can, should.”

Andi Finkelstein didn’t come to the library to give blood. “I came because I had a book on hold, then saw there was a blood drive, and signed up. I’ve always donated blood. It’s just a good thing to do.”

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At the welcome desk outside the entrance, Elizabeth Mastrangelo sat with crochet in hand, waiting for donors  to show up to sign in or walk-in. “I’m unable to donate blood, so this is my way of doing something,” said Mastrangelo. It was the events of September 11th that moved her to volunteer, and she’s been working with the Red Cross ever since.  “There is always a shortage of blood,” Mastrangelo continued. “Down in the Carolinas, they had to cancel their blood drives because of the hurricane, so this whole week, they’ve collected nothing. That’s going to lead a shortage down there.” 

The Red Cross is the largest collector of donated blood in the United States. Here are some interesting blood facts from their website:

  • Approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells are needed every day in the U.S.
  • Nearly 7,000 units of platelets and 10,000 units of plasma are needed daily in the U.S.
  • The average red blood cell transfusion is approximately 3 units.
  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is type O.
  • Sickle cell disease affects 90,000 to 100,000 people in the U.S. About 1,000 babies are born with the disease each year. Sickle cell patients can require blood transfusions throughout their lives.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, about 1.7 million people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2017. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

Wayne resident and donor, Jim Bennett may have summed it up best for all of us: “I believe everything that goes around, comes around, so I may not need help now, but in the future to get some help would be appreciated. So, I figured I’d come help the cause. There’s always travesties in this world, so it’s nice just to give to people, whether you know them or not. With the hurricane going on and god only knows what’s in store, people could use the help.”

If you missed the chance to donate at the library, you have another opportunity on October 19th at the Wayne Farmer’s Market, in the Library parking lot.  Mark your calendars for the last day of the Farmer’s Market and to give some of yourself to help others.