SPRINGVILLE—The Springville-Griffith Institute football team will host a Unyts blood drive on Thursday, Aug. 7 from 3-7 p.m. as part of the Off Field Challenge at the Concord Public Library, located at 18 Chapel Street in Springville.
The Off Field Challenge is a new campaign by ADPRO Sports, the Buffalo Bills and Unyts to increase blood donations during the summer months, a time when donations usually lag. High school football teams from around the area are taking the challenge, hosting drives and working to spur as many donations as possible. In addition to knowing that they are helping local patients in local hospitals, the teams will also benefit by receiving prizes and recognition for their efforts.
“One of the key facets in our program philosophy is to pay it forward in our community,” said head coach Rob Valenti. “It’s an opportunity for our kids to give back to their community. Finding out that all of the donations collected by Unyts stay right here in Western New York certainly hit home with a lot of our kids and a lot of our parents.”
The three teams that collect the most units at their drives will receive two team practices at the ADPRO Sports Training Center, 100 game tickets, a pregame on-field experience for coaches and captains to the Bills annual Kids Day game in August and a catered pre/post game team meal. All participating team members will receive Unyts swag from ADPRO Sports and service hours for their participation.
Valenti said that the team is working to prepare for the drive. “Each of our players coming in for summer workouts have taken the literature home, either to make the decisions themselves to donate, if they’re old enough, or to pass the information along to their family members,” he noted. “We have about 10 players going into the community, asking local businesses if they’ll put a sign or a poster in their business or in their window to help spread the word.”
All blood donated through Unyts stays in Western New York to help local patients in local hospitals. Unyts is the primary supplier of blood products for Kaleida Health, Erie County Medical Center, and all the hospitals in Niagara and Wyoming counties.
One pint of blood can save up to three lives. About one in seven people entering a hospital need blood. In 2013, over 25,000 presenting blood and platelet donors gave, for a total of over 140,000 presenting blood donors since June 2007.
Headquartered in Buffalo and established in 1981, Unyts is among the leading procurement organizations in the United States, and was the first organization of its kind nationwide to offer opportunities for organ, eye, tissue and blood donation. Unyts operates as a not-for-profit serving the eight counties of Western New York and is part of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus
Appointments can be made online at unyts.org or by calling 512-7940.