The Blood Center of New Jersey Gets Wired for New Donors

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The Blood Center of New Jersey partners with Takes All Types to pioneer a New Media approach to build a social network of new blood donors.

The Blood Center of New Jersey (BCNJ) has partnered with Takes All Types (TAT) to leverage the power of the Internet to recruit new blood donors. These two non-profit organizations are utilizing sites like Facebook©, MySpaceTM, FanBox© and text messaging to encourage loyal blood donors to recruit members of their social networks to donate blood. This grassroots initiative will build the first social network of blood donors.

Social networking is a tool that will help raise the awareness of the need for more people to donate blood for those in their community who require life saving blood transfusions. "This program offers an innovative method of communicating with our donors and educating prospective donors in our communities. Using technology to reach out to potential donors in virtual places like Facebook© will help us to eliminate consistent blood shortages," comments Rita J. Polchin, Director, Donor Recruitment at BCNJ.

Polchin and her colleagues Mary Tessler, Account Representative and Mikki Carpenter, Manager, Donor Recruitment have been working closely with TAT Executive Director Ben Bergman for the past several months. TAT's social networking tools will become part of The Blood Center of New Jersey's ongoing marketing and educational programs. When social network users who live in the Center's service area view the Takes All Types application on sites like Facebook©
(http://www.apps.facebook.com/takesalltypes) they will see The Blood Center of New Jersey Logo and have access to special events and reward programs.

There is a continuous need to attract new donors. Many dedicated donors are moving out of the area, are on medication, or have had surgery; these are some of the reasons that make them unable to donate. TAT leverages the Internet to establish real-time communications with online social networks users and then partners with blood collection organizations like The Blood Center of New Jersey to help them alert local donors when supplies are running low so they donate when and where they are needed most.

"When blood shortages occur this means that we do not have the blood to provide to our New Jersey hospitals and in many cases during these shortages elective surgeries are canceled. It is important to have enough donors to donate throughout the year to avoid these situations," states Eric Senaldi, M.D., Medical Director at The Blood Center of New Jersey.

Becoming a Blood Donor
Donors must be 17 years of age, weight 120 pounds and be in general good health. There is no upper age limit for donors provided they meet health requirements. Donors should bring a signed or picture form of identification. People with a fever or sore throat should wait until they are feeling better before donating, and there is a 24-hour deferral for teeth cleanings and fillings.

For those who have recently traveled outside of the United States, please call the blood center at 973-676-4700, ext. 132 for eligibility criteria.

For more information or to sign up to donate at a blood drive, please call 1-866-256-6365 or visit http://www.bloodnj.org.

About The Blood Center of New Jersey
The Blood Center of New Jersey (BCNJ) is an independent, non-profit organization that has been supplying blood and blood components to hospitals in fourteen counties in northern and central New Jersey for over 60 years. BCNJ conducts an estimated 225 drives a month and must recruit approximately 100,000 blood donors annually in order to serve the hospitals and patients in our community. All blood is collected, tested, processed and distributed in New Jersey.

About Takes All Types
Takes All Types is an incorporated non-profit that uses social media to promote blood donation and encourage peer recruitment, to make blood collection efforts more precise and efficient. TAT enables people to sign up as donors and volunteers, reminds them to give regularly, and to receive alerts when urgent local blood needs arise. A dedicated website at http://www.TakesAllTypes.org, applications on Facebook (http://apps.facebook.com/takesalltypes), MySpace and Fanbox, and texting 'BLOOD' to 69866 facilitate registration, education and recruitment, by peers and professionals alike. Takes All Types enjoys strong pro bono support from industry partners including K&L Gates, Mobile Commons, Thiinkle, Pointbanner and TransPerfect.

Contact
Rita J. Polchin
Director, Donor Recruitment & Donor Services
The Blood Center of New Jersey
45 South Grove Street, East Orange, NJ 07018
Tel: 973-676-4700 Ext. 109 / 862-676-4933
Web: http://www.bloodnj.org

Contact
Ben Bergman
Executive Director
Takes All Types, Inc.
Tel: (347) 223-4756 / (610) 883-6980
Web: http://www.takesalltypes.org

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