Community-wide blood drive, food drive planned for Jan. 11

Congregation Young Israel, in partnership with the American Red Cross and the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food pantry, will host an event aimed at recruiting blood donors and collecting food to help those in need during crucial winter months. The St. Louis Jewish Community Blood  Drive will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 11 at Young Israel of St. Louis,  8101 Delmar Boulevard in University City.  

This marks the eighth year for this event, which is endorsed and supported by the Jewish Social Action Network.  It was started by Bob and Judy Hellman as a chesed project that everyone in the community can participate in and benefit from.  

Both a blood drive and food drive are especially important at this time of year. During the holidays, many people do not find the time to donate. However, need does not take a holiday.  A blood drive during the winter is essential to keep an adequate supply of blood flowing to area hospitals.  

The holidays can be particularly difficult for the hungry, as well.  The HKJFP has seen a huge increase in the number of hungry mouths to feed in recent months.  Marcia Mermelstein, Pantry Coordinator for the food pantry, asks that people simply pick up a few extra items the next time they make a trip to the grocery store, and bring them to this food drive.  Items needed most include canned tuna, peanut butter, canned beans and canned vegetables/fruits.

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Aside from donating blood, community members can also volunteer and work where needed the day of the drive.  Babysitting will be available for those with small children. This charitable event is open to anyone who would like to participate, regardless of religious affiliation, 

To schedule an appointment,  go to www.givelife.org (sponsor code YIJS) or call 1-800-RED-CROSS. Walk-in donors are welcome, but appointments will take priority. For more information, contact Judy and Bob Hellman at [email protected] or at 314-862-8432.