Want to Give Back? Donate Blood During National Blood Donor Month


If you’re looking for ways to be more charitable this year, we have one that can make a huge impact just by giving a few minutes of your time. It’s National Blood Donor Month, and because hospitals can’t keep up with the demand for blood, it’s a good time to consider donating—cold weather, snow, and illness spikes make it less likely for blood banks to get donors. If you can do it, know that your donation (the blood draw only takes a few minutes) can make a huge difference, especially to the critical moms and kids who depend on it. Read on to find out if you qualify and the RWJBarnabas Health drives where you can easily donate. (featured photo credit: iStock/Svitlana Hulko)

Why it’s so urgent for blood right now

Hospitals can’t keep up with the demand for blood, and the impact can be deadly, especially for pregnant moms-to-be. They are at risk because 1 in 83 births will require a blood transfusion, and bleeding is the leading cause of death during delivery in the United States. And it’s not just moms— access to safe blood products makes a difference for people in car accidents, home accidents, and cancer care—anyone at any time can benefit from blood donations.

What to expect if you qualify

So you want to donate but are not sure if you can? Check out if you qualify first. Jersey requires blood donors to be at least 17 (16 with parental consent) and weigh over 110 pounds (120 pounds if 16 years old). Donors must present a photo ID at the time of the donation. If you need more information about blood donation eligibility (especially if you’ve had COVID or the flu recently), check out this fact sheet for more info.

And rest assured, the centers and all RWJBarnabas Health Blood Drives have rigorous safety protocols to protect all donors. There are required face coverings for all staff, and strict sanitary protocols, including disinfection of donor areas. 

Where to go right now to donate blood

Jersey City Medical Center: Critical Need Blood Drive
January 11 from 11 AM- 5 PM
All donors will receive a $10 Starbucks gift card and will be entered into a drawing to win a $100 gift
Jersey City Medical Center, Ambulatory Care Center, 395 Grand Street, 3rd Floor, Jersey City, NJ 07302
To make your appointment, call 732.235.8100, ext 221

Bradley Beach Community Blood Drive @ Bradley Beach Fire Department
January 12 from 11:30 AM- 5:30 PM
Training Room, 815 Main Street, Bradley Beach, NJ 07720

South Plainfield Elks Blood Drive
January 14 from 9 AM- 3 PM
Social Hall, 1254 New Market Avenue, South Plainfield, NJ 07080

BlueClaws and RWJBarnabas Health
January 17 from 11:30 AM – 5:30 PM 
RWJBarnabas Health Champions Club, 2 Stadium Way, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Rutgers Blood Drive
January 19 from 9 AM- 3 PM
Rutgers Business Administration Building, Conference/Training Rooms, 135 A&B, 33 Knightsbridge Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854

Maternal Health Awareness Day Blood Drive @ Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
January 23 from 10 AM- 3 PM
Arline and Henry Schwartzman Courtyard, 1 Robert Wood Johnson Place, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Trinitas Regional Medical Center Critical Need Blood Drive
January 24 from 11 AM-5 PM
All donors will receive a $10 gift card. There is also free parking.
Vending Room, 1st floor, 225 Williamson Street, Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Appointments are strongly encouraged. Call 732.235.8100, ext 221

Old Bridge Community Blood Drive
January 25 from 11:30 AM.- 5:30 PM
YMCA of Old Bridge, 1 Mannio Park Drive, Old Bridge, NJ 08857

New Brunswick Islamic Center Blood Drive
January 28 from 9 AM- 3 PM
Gymnasium, 1330 Livingston Ave., North Brunswick, NJ 08902

Bell Works Blood Drive
January 31 from 11 AM – 5 PM
Main Courtyard, 101 Crawfords Corner Road, Holmdel, NJ 07733

To make an appointment at a fixed RWJBH Donor Room or to find a blood drive location near you, please visit https://www.rwjuhdonorclub.org. or call 732-235-8100 ext. 221.

Unable to donate blood? Here’s how you can help

You may be up for donating, but if you tested positive for COVID-19 in the last month, have an underlying medical condition, are on certain medications, or have low hemoglobin, you may get deferred. But you can still help out by getting involved.

SleevesUp Virtual Blood Drives: Create an online campaign. Promote your campaign to friends and your community, and watch as individuals pledge to donate on your cause’s behalf.

Volunteer at a Blood Drive: Make an impact while learning new skills, meeting new people in your community, and doing good by helping organizations like the American Red Cross, which run almost entirely on the goodwill of local volunteers.

Make a financial donation: It is easy to make a financial contribution to Disaster Relief, your Local Red Cross, or “where it is needed most” with the click of a mouse.

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