MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON, N.J.
— Hurricane Irene's devastating effects are hitting New Jersey's blood banks and hospitals hard.  Numerous blood drives had to be cancelled statewide, and Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes is urging people who are able to donate blood to do so.

People who want to schedule an appointment to donate blood or locate a blood drive can find a location near them by calling 1-800-Red Cross or visiting www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation.  Platelet donors are especially important for cancer patients.

Platelet donors should call 1-215-451-4153 to make an appointment.

The New Jersey Workforce Coalition is asking all blood and platelet donors to contact your regional blood centers to see if you can schedule yourself to donate, or to start a life saving blood drive.

If you have never donated before, perhaps now is the time to consider becoming a part of the volunteers in your community.

To locate your regional blood center or for more information on how you can help during this critical time, please click here:   http://www.nj.gov/health/njsave3lives/index.shtml.