During this year’s New York Giants training camp in Albany, fans can show how much they’ll bleed for their team, and the American Red Cross is hoping they’ll fill a pint.
In a season where the emergency blood supply is at half its needed levels, the Red Cross is holding a blood drive from noon to 7 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Best Western Sovereign Hotel, 1228 Western Ave., Albany.
Donors will have an opportunity to have their photo taken with the team’s Super Bowl XLVI trophy, and the first 500 donors will get a free Giants/American Red Cross T-shirt.
In the summer, blood donorship slows down considerably, as people go on vacation or keep busy with summertime activities.
“Their schedules are different, so they miss the opportunity to donate blood as they normally would,” said Caroline Boardman, spokeswoman for the Red Cross.
Also, colleges and schools are closed. During the school year they provide a solid blood source for the Red Cross through students and employees who give.
Natural events such as the summer storms that shut down power for several days in the Washington, D.C., area and wildfires out west also stressed the national blood supply because regular donors weren’t giving their blood during those times.
So it’s all the more important for donors to visit one of the scheduled blood drives or the blood bank to keep the supply replenished, Boardman said.
Although all blood types are needed, O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative are in the highest demand.
In June, the Red Cross supply reached emergency levels with 50,000 fewer donations than were expected.
Hospitals need blood and platelets for accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies and patients needing treatment for leukemia, cancer and sickle cell disease.
Besides the Giants camp blood drive, the following blood drives are scheduled in the Capital Region in the near future:
• Rexford — 1 to 6 p.m. Friday at the Rexford Fire Department, Route 146.
• Schuylerville — 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at American Legion Post 278, 6 Clancy St.
• Wilton — 1 to 6 p.m. Monday at the Wilton Mall, 3065 Route 50.
• Clifton Park — 1 to 6 p.m. Monday at Vischer Ferry Fire District, 360 Riverview Road.
• Albany — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the state Department of Civil Service, Alfred E. Smith State Office Building.
• Saratoga Springs — 1 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Keller Williams, 38 High Rock Ave.
• Amsterdam — 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 2, Amsterdam Masonic Temple, 34 Division St.
• Malta — 1 to 6 p.m. Aug. 3, TorresXTF, 43 Round Lake Road.
• Clifton Park — noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Clifton Park Town Hall, corner of Vischer Ferry and Clifton Park Center roads. Call the town clerk’s office at 371-6681.
The Red Cross recommends calling ahead to the venue for an appointment at the blood drives or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).