As we continue to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, the need for blood donations has hit a crisis level due to the lack of donors.  To help assist the New York Blood Center (NYBC) increase their blood supply, Senator Mario R. Mattera (2nd Senate District) is sponsoring a blood drive on Sunday, February 14, at the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove.  This donation drive will take place from noon to 6 p.m. in the mall’s Center Court.

With nearly 2,000 donations needed every day in New York and New Jersey alone, the current shortage has the potential to have a real effect on those who need blood transfusions.  Every single donation can save up to three lives.

Those most in need of blood include cancer patients, accident, burn, or trauma victims, newborn babies as well as mothers delivering babies, transplant recipients, surgery patients, chronically transfused patients suffering from sickle cell disease or thalassemia, and many more.

Potential donors are required to meet certain criteria including:
• Bring NYBC Blood Donor Card or ID with signature or photo.
• Minimum weight 110 lbs. or more.
• Eligible ages are 16 to 75.  Anyone donating who is 16 years old must have parental permission and anyone who is age 76 and over is required to supply a doctor’s note.
• No tattoos for past 3 months

All donors will receive a New York Blood Center t-shirt and a coupon for Auntie Annie’s pretzels.  Additionally, the NYBC will be doing free COVID anti-body testing for anyone who participates in the blood drive with results being provided via mail.

The entire donation process takes less than an hour and appointments are recommended to ensure minimal waiting time.  To schedule an appointment or for more information, residents should visit Senator Mattera’s website at and click on the link on the home page or call the NYBC at 800-933-2566.

Donors with O-negative blood type, or “universal donors,” are especially encouraged to donate, as their blood is essential in emergency situations.  Any potential donor with questions concerning medical eligibility is asked to call 1-800-688-0900.  It is recommended that those donating eat well and drink plenty of fluids prior to their appointment.

“The ongoing crisis is causing a very real and extremely serious shortage of blood supply and it is my hope that all residents who are eligible to donate will join us on Valentine’s Day to show some heart for their fellow Long Islanders.  Each donation has potential to save three lives and all donors will be a Valentine’s Day hero to everyone in our community in need of life saving assistance,” stated Senator Mattera.

Residents are urged to visit Senator Mattera’s website at for more information and to make an appointment.