Monday, November 17, 2014

Mayor Morse and Holyoke Youth Task Force to Host Holiday Blood Drive with American Red Cross

Mayor Morse and the Holyoke Youth Task Force are hosting a holiday blood drive with the American Red Cross in the City of Holyoke. The drive will take place on Tuesday, December 9 from 1-6 p.m. in the City Hall ballroom. People from across the region are encouraged to attend and to show their holiday spirit by giving the gift of life.

Mayor Morse is also leading efforts to call attention to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s lifetime blood donation deferral for gay and bisexual men. Mayor Morse, who is openly gay, has long advocated on behalf of the rights of the LGBT community. Those participating in the event will
have the option to sign a petition asking the FDA to lift the ban, and eligible donors are encouraged to donate on behalf of a friend or loved one who cannot. Name-tags will be provided to all donors, on which they may write the name of a gay or bisexual man on whose behalf they are donating.

Blood donation eligibility in the United States is determined by the FDA and all blood centers are required to follow the rules and regulations set by the agency. According to the Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds, and more than 41,000 blood donations are needed every day.

“Holyokers are some of the most caring, compassionate, and generous people I know. Although I can’t donate blood, I have no doubt that a great many people from Holyoke and throughout the region will come to Holyoke to give this precious gift of life. Someday, if people continue to raise their voices, I’m sure I, and millions others like me, will be free to donate. I also believe that Holyoke is a progressive and inclusive city, and that the people here believe we should all be treated equally. This event promises to highlight the very best of what our community has to offer, and to signal to other communities throughout the Commonwealth that change is possible,” Mayor Morse said.

In the coming weeks, Mayor Morse will be reaching out to local and state officials throughout the area to partner on this event.

To make an appointment to donate blood at this event, simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or log on to

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