Barclay: Blood donations are a call for community response

ALBANY, NY — Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay released the following statement on Friday, April 17, 2020:

Challenging times have brought out the best in our community. If there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s the show of support and the way people and professionals have responded to the call. From businesses providing personal protective equipment (PPE), to donations being sent to health care workers, to individuals going out of their way to provide a service or care for their neighbors – it all reinforces the fact that this is a special community.

I’m hopeful that next month, the incredible show of generosity will continue. On Friday, May 8, I will join Oswego Mayor Billy Barlow to host our annual blood drive. The event, held in conjunction with the American Red Cross, will take place at the Roy C. McCrobie Building at 41 Lake St. in Oswego, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The need for blood donations cannot be understated. As a result of the numerous business and school closures we have had to endure, many Red Cross blood drives have been canceled. This has created a massive shortage in needed blood supplies, and the lack of blood supply is so dire there have been reports of doctors and nurses giving their own blood so patients can receive life-saving transfusions. Acts like these are indicative of the overwhelming displays of generosity, bravery and service we have seen each day from the health care industry. But, we must do our part to help.

Information from the Red Cross illustrates the need for blood under even the best circumstances. According to recent statistics:

  • Only 38 percent of the U.S. population is able to donate blood.

  • Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

  • More than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day.

  • The blood type most often requested by hospitals is Type O.

  • More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them  will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.

  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

For these reasons and more, I have decided to continue with the planned blood drive in hopes that we can help address the shortage COVID-19 has created. Of course, social distancing and other safety measures will be practiced during the event.

The American Red Cross encourages healthy individuals to keep their scheduled appointments and make new ones in the weeks ahead to help fill demand throughout this health crisis. To schedule an appointment for the blood drive, please contact my office at 315-598-5185 or visit the American Red Cross website:

Donating takes about 8-10 minutes. The entire encounter, including registration and replenishment with the snacks provided, takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Donors are encouraged to hydrate and eat well ahead of their appointment.

For those who can, please consider saving some time with Red Cross “RapidPass” to complete a pre-donation reading and online health history prior to an appointment. This can be done at or with the Blood Donor App.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office. My office can be reached by mail at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069 and by email at You may also find me, Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, on Facebook or on Twitter at @WillABarclay.