NYC High Schools win blood drive championship program in light of statewide blood emergency

Courtesy of the New York Blood Center.

Local winners of the High School Blood Drive Championship Program were announced during the New York Yankees home game on Wednesday, June 5. 

The program, a partnership of more than 25 years between The New York Blood Center and the New York Yankees, highlights the importance of blood donation from high school students. 

On June 3, the New York Blood Center declared a major drop in blood donations in the early weeks of the summer trauma season, unable to keep up with hospital demand.

“Annually, more than 56,000 traumas are reported in New York State, the majority of which occur on weekends and during the summer months,” according to the New York Blood Center Enterprises. 

After the pandemic, blood donations from high school students have seen major drops. 

According to the center, “Prior to the pandemic, NYBC collected 50,000 blood donations annually from these drives.” In the most recent school year, donations have dropped to about 33,000.

The blood shortage is also a nationwide issue. “Over the last 20 years, the number of people donating blood through the Red Cross has fallen by about 40%,” according to the American Red Cross’ website.

“We are in need of youth and first-time blood donors now more than ever and we hope this initiative inspires high schools across the state to host blood drives and help us teach the younger generation about the importance of blood donation,” said Andrea Cefarelli in a press release, senior vice president at New York Blood Center.

From the three main categories, two New York City high schools took home the awards. Middletown High School from Queens, NY won the “Most Improved” category. While School of the Future High School in Manhattan, won the “Rookie of the Year” category. 

A subcategory including only New York City high schools named the Abraham Joshua Heschel High School in Manhattan, the winner for most donations. Yeshiva of Flatbush of Brooklyn, NY won the “Most Improved” category. The “Rookie of the Year” category was awarded to Xavier High School in Manhattan. 

The high school winners celebrated their success at the New York Yankees home game.

Blood donors can give every 56 days, and platelet donors can give twice per month. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently lifted several blood donor eligibility restrictions.  To view current eligibility guidelines, visit nybc.org or call 800.688.0900.

To make an appointment at this blood drive, donors can call 1-800-933-2566 or visit this link. Can’t donate blood? You can still support NYBC’s mission by texting ‘NYBC’ to ‘20222’ to give $25.