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Several Groups To Host Blood Drives

Blood donation is down after Superstorm Sandy and the need is greater than ever.

In the true spirit of giving, South Fork residents will have several chances to give one of the greatest gifts of all: blood for those in need.

In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the need was increased. Earlier in November, the New York Blood Center, which serves more than 20 million people in New York, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, projected a shortfall of up to 12,000 units over the following month because of the storm damage to locations where blood drives were scheduled and where blood is normally collected.

"Though hospital needs continue to be met, and donors are turning out at blood drives and donor centers, the unprecedented and continuing disruption remains of great concern," the center said in a statement on Nov. 8.

If you want to give, you'll have to chose only one of these upcoming donation drives to attend, as you can only give blood every 56 days.

The American Legion Post 419 in Amagansett will hold its annual November blood drive on Monday, from noon to 7:30 p.m. The East Hampton Lions, which organize the drive, will serve chili, chicken soup, sandwiches, bagels and snacks, all donated from local delis. Also, everyone who donates is entered in a raffle for a $50 gift certificate to Luigi's.

If you live in Montauk, you don't have to travel far from home to give a donation; a blood drive will be held at the Montauk Fire Department on Tuesday, from 2 to 8 p.m.

In December, there are two blood drives scheduled; one in Sag Harbor and one in Bridgehampton.

The Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, which hosts three blood drives a year, will host another one at the Sag Harbor Fire Department on Dec. 11, from 2 to 8 p.m.

"With the destruction caused by hurricane Sandy blood drives are still being cancelled at the schools, churches, and workplaces that were damaged," said Missie Mahoney, an EMT who helped organize the blood drive. "We need to pick up the slack to a degree we have never had to before, and that is why we're so urgently asking our communities for help," she said.

The Bridgehampton Fire Department will host a blood drive on Dec. 19 from 2 to 8 p.m.

In order to give blood you must be at least 17 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds, and, of course, be healthy. For a full list of eligibility criteria from the American Red Cross, click here.

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