A holiday tradition
DYFS workers give blood for the holidays
by Al Sullivan
Reporter staff writer
Dec 23, 2009 | 1403 views | 0 0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

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When workers at the Bayonne office of the state Division of Youth and Family Services say they would give blood for their clients, this time of year they literally mean it.

In what has become a holiday tradition, workers at the Broadway office of DYFS rolled up their sleeves on Nov. 20 to help alleviate a blood shortage in New Jersey.

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA) and the New Jersey Workplace Blood Donor Coalition reported that although more than 500,000 units of blood are transfused in New Jersey hospitals each year, donations from volunteer donors have hardly kept up with the pace. New Jersey often requires as much as 60,000 more units of blood each year than it collects, requiring hospitals to borrow blood from other states.

“One out of three people will need blood.” – Jacqueline Wooten-Rose

The Coalition began to urge employers to hold more workplace blood drives in order to boost the supply. In New Jersey, more than 60 percent of adults are eligible to donate blood, but only 2.5 percent actually do so on a regular basis. The national average is 5 percent.

Jacqueline Wooten-Rose of the Bayonne office of DYFS said workers in her office came out in droves this year, rolling up their sleeves to provide this life saving Christmas present to people in need throughout the area.

DYFS is New Jersey’s child protection and child welfare agency within the Department of Children and Family Services. Its mission is to ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children and to support families. Normally, DYFS is responsible for investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect and, if necessary, arranging for the child’s protection and the family’s treatment. But yearly, these workers donate blood during the holiday season, when the state often requires more blood than usual.

“One out of three people will need blood,” Wooten-Rose said. “We want people to know that we really care for the community where we work.”

For several hours, the Bloodmobile, supplied by Community Blood Services, parked outside the Broadway offices as workers came down to donate.

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