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Give Blood and Help Save a Life During Mitzvah Mania

September 6, 2007 By:
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Jerry Frezel (far left) and Peggy Carver (far right), discuss the Mitzvah Mania blood-donation sites with John A. Hagins, senior director, Donor Services (second from left) and Robert Kessler, director, Donor Services-Recruitment for the Southeast Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Red Cross.

On Sunday, Oct. 21, Jewish adults will have an opportunity to perform the mitzvah of pikuah nefesh -- the saving of a life --through participation in Red Cross blood drives at 10 locations throughout Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Chester and Delaware counties. Peggy Carver and Jerry Frezel, co-chairs of the Mitzvah Projects Task Force of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, which is organizing the Mitzvah Mania community day of service, hope that volunteers will donate a total of 613 pints of blood. Frezel explains that "this number corresponds to the 613 mitzvot or commandments set forth in the Torah."

Anyone who is in good health, is at least 17 years old, and who weighs at least 110 pounds may donate blood every 56 days. Sixteen-year-olds may donate blood with written consent from their parent/guardian.

At Congregation Beth Or in Maple Glen, the Red Cross will offer the option of participation in Apheresis -- a special kind of blood donation that allows the donor to give specific blood components like platelets, the blood cells that help control bleeding. Cancer patients, organ or bone-marrow transplant recipients, victims of traumatic injuries and patients undergoing open heart surgery all require platelet transfusions to survive.

Blood-donation sites will operate from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the following locations:

Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia
Chester County and Delaware County Regions
487 Devon Park Drive, Suite 207

Congregation Shir Ami
101 Richboro Road

Congregation Beth Or
239 Welsh Road
Maple Glen

Klein Branch JCC
10100 Jamison Avenue

Gratz College
7605 Old York Road
Elkins Park

Germantown Jewish Centre
400 West Ellet Street

Martins Run
11 Martins Run

Kaiserman Branch JCC
45 Haverford Road

Congregation Rodeph Shalom
615 North Broad Street

Beth David Reform Congregation
1130 Vaughans Lane

Congregation Kol Emet
1360 Oxford Valley Road

To learn more or register, log on to: (click on the American Red Cross) or call 215-832-0564.

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