NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York Blood Center’s team says this time of the year often causes blood supply shortages because of holiday travel, bad weather and flu season.
Add in the pandemic and you get the blood emergency they are currently facing.READ MORE: NYPD: Keber Martinez Arrested In Jacobi Hospital Shooting
As CBS2’s Leah Mishkin reports, inside Grand Central Terminal, Bradley Bosley just wrapped up giving blood. He’s been donating for 20 years.
“It’s, like, the minimum you can do,” Bosley said.
The one pint of blood he donated Friday can save up to three lives. That hits home for Bosley.
“I was climbing a tree… when I was 9 years old, I grabbed a power line and I was in the hospital for six months,” he said.
The longtime blood donor spent time with a lot of trauma patients in the hospital who needed blood. That has always stuck with him.
“We need to collect over 2,000 donations a day, to meet the demands of our local hospitals. If we don’t have blood drives we can’t supply the hospitals,” said Elizabeth Hernandez of the New York Blood Center.
Hernandez says they like to have 5-7 days of blood supply on the shelves. Right now it’s down to 1-2.
“Twenty five percent of our blood collections was within the academic world, and also the business world. And both populations are still either working remotely or doing blended classes,” Hernandez said.
New York Blood Center used to have about 500 blood drives per month. During the pandemic, that has dropped to 150 or so. That’s why she’s asking people to donate their space, even if employees or students are still remote.
“We have to get creative and host blood drives such as this one,” she said.
“I always like to donate blood, and it’s so convenient right here at Grand Central than having to go to a blood center,” said donor Mike Brown.
Many MTA Metro-North railroad employees stopped by to support the 10th annual drive, including John Sullivan.READ MORE: NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora Dies After Being Shot In Line Of Duty In Harlem: 'True Heroes Never Die'
“I’ve been doing it for the last 20 something years. It feels good to try to help somebody if I can,” Sullivan said.
“[They] always have the best snacks at blood drives,” Mishkin said.
“I never have cookies anywhere else except blood drives,” Sullivan said.
New York Blood Center says because blood has a short shelf life, they ask people to donate four times a year.
“You never know when you or a family member or loved one may need blood themselves,” MTA Police Department Chief of Operations Joseph McGrann said.
McGrann says he gives blood as much as he can.
“I’ve had family members who have undergone surgery for various conditions. I have family members who are cancer survivors who were in need of surgery themselves,” he said.
Many of the people Mishkin spoke with are MTA employees who are supporting the organization’s drive.
Daryl Wofford heard it on the news and decided to stop by since he lives down the street.
“To do one’s civic duty. It’s just like voting. People have to get involved and that’s what inspired me to come out today,” Wofford said.
You need to show a vaccination card in order to donate.
To make an appointment or learn more about donating, CLICK HERE.MORE NEWS: NYPD Reports Shoplifting Levels Not Seen In Nearly 30 Years As Organized Retail Crime Ramps Up Nationwide
Leah Mishkin contributed to this report.