THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — Blood donors lined up outside Yankee Stadium on Wednesday ready to save a life and score free tickets to an upcoming game. New York Blood Center partnered with the New York Yankees to encourage donations, which are typically low around this time of year.
Christine Foran, the manager of special events and programs for New York Blood Center, said coming off the Fourth of July holiday is a tough time.
“People are thinking about beaches and barbecues and vacations,” Foran said. “They’re not thinking about donating blood. This is actually what we call a critical period.”
New York Blood Center announced a blood emergency last month because of an alarming drop in donations. Right now, the blood supply level is two to three days when ideally, the minimum is 5 days.
There’s also an incentive to get donors to roll up their sleeves – two free tickets to an upcoming Yankee game. Star Garcia sported her Yankee cap while donating and is no stranger to the process.
“This is actually my eighth donation, so it makes a gallon today,” Garcia said.
One pint of blood is taken per donation and can save up to three lives.
William Zapata has been donating blood since 1970.
“I lost a son to leukemia and I’ve always donated hoping I can help somebody else,” Zapata said.
Maria Jose Martinez is also a returning blood donor.
“I love donating blood,” Jose Martinez said. “I like knowing that I can make a difference in someone else’s life although I may not know them.”
Brian Smith, senior vice president of corporate and community relations for the Yankees, said the stadium is serving Bronxites in their backyard beyond entertainment.
“Yankee Stadium is not just a ballpark,” Smith said. “Yankee Stadium today is positioned as a health and wellness hub in our community and that’s a priority of our organization. We were successful doing with our vaccine site and hopefully, we’re successful today with our blood drive.”
If you missed the chance to donate blood at the stadium, visit New York Blood Center’s website to find a donation center near you.
Watch the video player above for the full interview with Andrea Cefarelli from the New York Blood Center, who joined the PIX11 Morning News.