WEST ORANGE, NJ - United Presbyterian Church of West Orange is sponsoring a Community Blood Drive on Saturday, September 20, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the Blood Center of New Jersey will bring its state-of-the art Bloodmobile to the church campus at 20 Old Indian Road, West Orange.

Although it’s been reported that the need for blood transfusions has declined because of advancements in surgical techniques and cancer treatments, the need for donated blood in New Jersey is critical.  The shelf life of donated blood is short, and hospitals need to keep a supply of the various blood types on hand for any emergency surgery or disaster.  Blood banks still need tens of thousands of donors a day. 

UPCWO launched its first blood drive after the congregation’s pastor was diagnosed in 2011 with Acute Myeloid Leukemia, and subsequently received numerous blood transfusions and a bone marrow transplant, from which she is successfully recovering.  The congregation continues to hold blood drives twice a year as a way of giving back. 

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The process of donating blood is safe and simple, and the actual giving of blood takes only about 10 minutes. That 10 minutes can save three lives.  While many people are repeat donors, many more Americans are afraid of needles or afraid of contamination, even though it is impossible to catch a contagious disease by donating blood. 

To help overcome people’s excuses, United Presbyterian volunteers have created a beautiful gift basket of goodies which one lucky donor will get to take home.  They will also provide plenty of refreshments in the Fellowship Hall for donors. 

To be a blood donor, you must be at least 16 years old, must know your Social Security number and have a photo or signed ID.  Sixteen year olds must present a signed parental consent form.  It is also important to eat and to drink water before and after.  

United Presbyterian Church is located at 20 Old Indian Road, just off Prospect Avenue, in the St. Cloud neighborhood of West Orange.  For directions, call 973-731-1868 or visit www.upcwo.org.