The Greater Long Island Running Club, the island’s largest and most active running club, pounds the pavement year round with runners from both counties. And that same club is hitting the streets this month to replenish a precious, life-saving resource.
The club will hold its Athletes for Life Blood Drive on Saturday, March 19, at New York Blood Services, 905 Walt Whitman Rd. in Melville, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Leading the event is Plainview’s Gina Gelman, who has been heading up the clubs blood drives about 15 years.
“The club holds three blood drives per year, with the one in December being the biggest,” said Gelman. “If you’ve never donated blood, just try it once. It’s an hour out of your time and if you don’t like it, you never have to do it again.”
According to Gelman, the main reason to try it once is that each donation has the potential to save up to three lives—so, as she says, “it’s a productive hour out of your life.”
“It is such an easy thing to do—it’s comfortable, convenient and mostly pain free,” she said, adding that a loved one’s life was saved by blood donations. “How many opportunities do you have to save a life? This is a simple act that can have a profound impact on someone else and their family.”
In partnering with New York Blood Services, which takes care of many of the logistics, Gelman said Athletes for Life’s task couldn’t more clear—find donors.
“If we get five people to donate, that is 15 lives saved right there,” she said. “The need for blood never goes away.”
Walk-ins are welcome and there is no appointment necessary, but a photo ID is required. For more information, contact Gelman at email@example.com or call her at 516-655-2299.