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Give the Gift of Life, Get a Shop Rite Gift Card YOU Can Make a Difference!

December 27 to January 6, 2011

Community Blood Services is urging community members to take time out of their busy holiday schedules to donate blood and give the gift of life. Every donor will receive a complimentary Shop Rite gift card as a thank you for their lifesaving donations.

Shop Rite gift cards will be given to anyone who donates between Monday, December 27th and Thursday, January 6th at a Community Blood Servicesí donor site in New Jersey or New York, or at select mobile blood drives.

"The need for blood never takes a vacation, so it is more important than ever to donate this holiday season to ensure blood is available when patients in our community hospitals need it," said Karen Ferriday, director of community affairs.

"All blood types are needed to meet the needs of patients in the more than 30 hospitals we serve in New Jersey and New York, especially Types O negative and O positive," Ferriday said. Type O is the universal blood type and can be transfused in the event of an emergency.

Donors can call toll-free 866-228-1500 or visit www.communitybloodservices.com to find out where and when they can donate or to schedule their appointments. Walk-ins are also welcome for blood donations but appointments are needed to donate platelets.

"Blood has a limited shelf life, and must constantly be replenished," Ferriday said, noting collections drop off during the winter holidays because people donít want to come out in the cold weather, are ill or are busy shopping and traveling. She said about 250 pints of blood must be collected each day to meet the needs of hospital patients.

Whole blood donors must be 17-75 years old (16 with parental permission) and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors also receive complimentary health screenings, including non-fasting cholesterol and glucose screenings.

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