Vacations, traveling and holidays have historically resulted in summer being a slow time of year for blood donations, but the need is still great at local hospitals.
Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center are teaming up with Unyts, Western New York's only organ, eye, tissue and community blood center, to hold blood drives in August to help ensure blood products are available for patients in need.
Community blood drives are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7, at Mount St. Mary's, 5300 Military Road, Lewiston; and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 11, at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, 621 10th St., Niagara Falls.
All presenting donors will receive a pair of tickets to a Buffalo Bisons game, free ice cream from Anderson's, and lunch.
Unyts is the primary supplier of blood products for both hospitals, and will need continued support from the community to help maintain a healthy blood supply.
"Our associates know the importance of the need for blood donations. It saves lives," Mount St. Mary's President and CEO Gary Tucker said. "There is a definite need in the summer months and we look forward to reaching our goal."
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo said, "Taking 20 minutes to donate a pint of blood can save a life - the greatest gift one can give. We encourage everyone to donate at our Aug. 11 blood drive so we can be sure blood will be readily available when patients need it."
To make an appointment to donate, visit www.unyts.org and click "Donate Blood." One donation has the potential to save up to three lives here in Western New York.