SYRACUSE – Earlier this summer, COVID-19 concerns resulted in the cancelation of the Great New York State Fair. Each year, the American Red Cross has operated a blood drive for the duration of the event, collecting more than 700 units of lifesaving blood from fairgoers who rolled up a sleeve to give.
Despite the fair’s 2020 cancelation, the Red Cross is urging healthy individuals to schedule an appointment to give blood for patients battling disease and facing the unexpected. The need for blood products remains constant, as blood drives continue to cancel due to COVID-19. It’s important to remember that blood is perishable and cannot be stockpiled, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood for those in need.
All who come to give at the fair from Aug. 21-Sept. 7 will receive a complimentary 2021 admission ticket to the fair, a Red Cross branded item and entry into the 2021 New York State Fair VIP Drawing.*
Those who come to give blood by Sept. 3 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email thanks to Amazon.**
From Sept. 4-7, presenting donors will receive a pair of limited-edition Red Cross branded socks, while supplies last.^
In addition to collecting blood, every August a Red Cross volunteer team has parked cars at the fair to raise critical funds – nearly $130,000 – to help deliver the organization’s lifesaving mission. Each car parked resulted in a $10 donation. In response to the event’s cancelation, the Red Cross is asking for $10 donations into its virtual parking meter to help bridge the gap, or donors can text ‘NYSFAIR’ to 41411 to give. The Red Cross provides essential services to people who don’t know where to turn after a disaster, who require lifesaving blood, or who need help from our nation after sacrificing so much on our behalf. Nearly 30,000 people receive assistance from the Red Cross every day.
American Red Cross
New York State Fair Blood Drive
NYS Fairgrounds Art & Home Center (581 State Fair Blvd.)
Appointments strongly encouraged: call 1-800-RED CROSS, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code EXPO2020, or use the Blood Donor App
1-7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 21
1-7 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 22
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 23
1-7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 24
1-7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 25
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 26
1-7 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 27
1-7 p.m., Friday, Aug. 28
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 29
1-7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 30
1-7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 31
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1
1-7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 2
1-7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 3
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Friday, Sept. 4
1-7 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 5
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 6
8 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday, Sept. 7
Many Syracuse-area businesses and organizations have stepped up to ensure blood collection efforts at the fair will continue. This blood drive is made possible by the generous financial support of Tessy Plastics, as well as sponsorship from the following local groups that have “adopted a day” to help generate participation: Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, ARC of Onondaga, Brian’s Kids, CNY Pet, Hillrom, Mother Nature Pet Supply, NYS Department of Health, NYS Food Truck Association and Pinnacle Investments.
“Blood donation is such a powerful way to make a difference for those in need, especially during this challenging time,” said Amy Bobbette, Syracuse district manager for the Red Cross. “We are so grateful to all who are supporting this blood drive despite the Fair’s cancelation – from donors and volunteers to our sponsors, site host and financial supporters. These collective contributions are what make our lifesaving mission possible.”
The Red Cross is testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if a donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to protect the health of all those in attendance.
How to donate blood
Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood.
High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
*2021 New York State Fair VIP drawing includes: $200 Syracuse Hotel Voucher, $250 Visa Gift Card, four admission tickets to 2021 NYS Fair, $20 2021 NYS Fair Parking Voucher, Red Cross branded item and a NYS Fair branded item. Offer applicable to presenting donors only during the following dates Aug. 21 through Sept. 7, 2020 and while supplies last. Offer subject to availability of donation opportunities in presenting donor’s area. No substitutions and not transferable by presenting donor. Not redeemable for cash.
^Offer applicable to presenting donors only during the following dates Sept. 4 through Sept. 8, 2020 and while supplies last. Offer subject to availability of donation opportunities in presenting donor’s area. No substitutions and not transferable by presenting donor. Not redeemable for cash.