When Alison Spodek, Vassar professor and wife of Beacon’s Rabbi Brent Spodek, was hospitalized for shortness of breath this March, one of the first things her doctors did was give her a blood transfusion. As Alison’s well-being almost instantly improved, she looked up at the pint of blood hanging from the IV pole. It was stamped “Volunteer Donor.”
Alison was soon diagnosed with leukemia and now blood transfusions are a regular part of her treatment. The Spodeks have been touched by an outpouring of support from their friends in Beacon and Cold Spring – and they continue to be deeply moved by people who have given in the past and whose blood donations who make Alison’s treatment possible.
Rabbi Spodek, who leads Beacon Hebrew Alliance, was inspired to share the love. He pulled together a group of community members to organize One Hundred Units of Love – a public blood drive that Rabbi Spodek hopes will be one of the largest Beacon has ever seen and will inspire more people to become regular donors.
“Our experience brought home the real urgency of blood donations. I learned that the health care system that we all rely on needs 43,000 units of blood every day in North America for cancer patients, accident victims, premature babies, and others,” says Rabbi Spodek. “We hope to channel the tremendous community support we’ve received into fostering life-long blood donors.”
Rabbi Spodek hopes that One Hundred Units of Love will be a tremendous bone marrow and blood drive and also a celebration of an entire community coming together to help save lives. “The goal is to collect blood from one hundred donors – making it the one of the largest blood drives in Beacon’s recent history. But we also want to remind people of the importance of being a life-long blood donor. It’s a way to make sure that blood is available when needed – for you, a loved one, or a stranger.”
One Hundred Units of Love will take place on , from at Beacon Hebrew Alliance at 331 Verplanck Avenue in Beacon. Parking is available in the lot that the synagogue shares with its neighboring church. Snacks will be served – including delicious homemade Kosher baked goods.
Walk-ins are welcome, but prospective donors are encouraged to register and make an appointment with New York Blood Center, to ensure there are enough supplies on-hand to meet demand. The most important thing to do is register to donate at the website listed here.