Manasquan student to host blood drive at first aid squad

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MANASQUAN — Manasquan High School student Gavin Guagenty has organized a community blood drive in conjunction with the Manasquan First Aid Squad and New Jersey Blood Services [NJBS] to help combat blood shortages as a result of the pandemic.

The blood drive will be held on Monday, March 29 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the first aid squad building located at 65 Broad St. 

Donors, who must be 16 years of age or older, can sign up for a timeslot  at: https://donate.nybc.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/290634

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Gavin, a junior at Manasquan High School, organized the blood drive for his National Honor Society service project.

“Because of COVID, blood supply in New Jersey is at critical levels and there aren’t a lot of blood drives nearby,” Gavin said.

 “I thought it was important to bring a drive closer to our community to see if more people will come out and donate their blood because every unit donated can save a life.”

NJBS is a division of New York Blood Center, which serves New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. 

The blood center declared a blood emergency on March 16, one year into the COVID-19 pandemic, stating that “the region’s blood supply is dangerously low and donors are desperately needed.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the blood center has seen more than 33,000 new donors and more than 174,000 donors who returned to give blood, the NJBS stated in a recent Facebook post. 

“However – the pandemic forced the closure of over 3,000 blood drives and we have seen 94,000 fewer donors [than] previous years.”

To find out if you are able to donate, visit https://www.nybc.org/donate-blood/become-donor/can-i-donate-blood/.

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