Become A Volunteer Blood Donor On Tuesday, July 12 And Help Give The Gift Of Life!

Legislative column from Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua)
July 1, 2011

Whether promoting adult literacy, serving as a big brother or big sister, or organizing a winter coat collection, volunteers truly are the heart and soul of local communities. From national programs like Toys for Tots, Literacy Volunteers and the Special Olympics, to nearby places such as an area hospital, firehouse, library, school or senior center, there are countless worthwhile activities for individuals to volunteer their time, talent and treasure. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, some 62.8 million Americans volunteered through, or for, an organization at least once between September 2009 and September 2010 – were you one of them?

Volunteers provide a powerful reminder that each of us can make a positive difference in the lives of others. The best part about volunteering? All it takes is your time and commitment to make things better for people in need of a helping hand. If you are looking for just such an opportunity to volunteer this summer, look no further! Consider giving the “gift of life” by becoming a blood donor during my upcoming community blood drive.


I am proud to again partner with the American Red Cross in sponsoring a community blood drive on Tuesday, July 12, from 1:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Canandaigua Inn on the Lake, located at 770 South Main Street, Canandaigua. Hospitals and blood banks typically experience a drop-off in donations during summer, so our July blood drive is the perfect opportunity for volunteers to help replenish much-needed blood supplies and possibly save a life in the process.

According to American Red Cross guidelines, potential blood donors must be healthy, at least 17 years old in most states (or 16 years old in New York State with parental consent) and weigh at least 110 lbs. For additional information regarding donor eligibility or to make an appointment for this blood drive, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit


The American Red Cross also has indicated that the supply of type O negative blood has dropped to critical levels. Type O negative blood is always in high demand because it can be transfused to patients with any blood type, especially in emergency situations.

Even though all blood types are needed during the summertime months, the American Red Cross requests that eligible donors with blood type O negative please consider giving blood.


The need for life-saving blood and blood donors is ever-present – consider these facts about blood donation from the American Red Cross:

  • One unit of blood can save the lives of up to three people, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, and more than 38,000 blood donations are needed every single day;
  • A total of 30 million blood components are transfused each year in the United States;
  • Every minute of every day, someone needs blood – that blood can only come from a volunteer donor, a person like you who makes the choice to donate. There is no substitute for your donation; and
  • When you make a blood donation, you join a very select group. Currently, only 3 out of every 100 people in America donate blood.

The American Red Cross estimates that the entire process of donating blood – from start to finish – takes just over an hour to complete. The actual donation of a pint of blood takes approximately eight to 10 minutes. The time varies slightly with each individual depending on several factors such as the donor’s health history and overall attendance at the blood drive. In other words, during the same amount of time spent watching a favorite television program or attending a sporting event – a little over an hour – you can make a life-changing difference for someone in need by volunteering to become a blood donor. That time is time well spent!


Donating blood is a safe and convenient way to ensure that hospitals and blood banks have adequate supplies of this critical resource. There is never a shortage of the need for volunteer blood donors, whether it is your first time, or your tenth time. Your selfless act of generosity and volunteerism will make a positive difference and help save the life of someone in need. Please be part of my American Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, July 12, from 1:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Canandaigua Inn on the Lake.

As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic or any other state-related matter should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, or e-mail me at