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Host a Blood Drive

How Do I Get Started?

First, thank you for helping us save lives through community blood donation. We couldn't do the work we do at ConnectLife without community partners, like you.


Working with your ConnectLife Account Executive, we will help you decide on a date and appropriate location. Once the logistics of your drive are confirmed, ConnectLife will develop and produce all associated marketing materials, including posters, table tents, and other handouts needed to generate blood donors.

ConnectLife will also develop all electronic communications for your blood drive, including posters and graphics for social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.). From there, promoting your blood drive is as simple as contacting your potential blood and platelet donors and is typically done through organization-wide emails or other communication systems. ConnectLife can also provide on-site Lunch-and-Learn sessions at no cost to help recruit and educate blood and platelet donors.

During the day of the blood drive, ConnectLife Sponsors can contribute in any way they feel appropriate. Sponsors who put their own signature style on the particulars of the drive are those who find the most enjoyment during the day. When you mix in the caring personalities of our blood drive team, your blood donors will actually have FUN during the drive!


Please contact us for more information:


Phone: 716-529-4270

Connection Blood Drives

Hosting a connection blood drive is a meaningful way to honor your loved one and continue the gift of life. Let our team help you through the process from choosing a time and date of the blood drive to getting the word out and recruiting blood donors.

Please get in touch with us if you are interested in hosting a connection blood drive:


Phone: 716-529-4270

Honoring Heroes and Their Families With Annual
Connection Blood Drives

Andrew Gramza

Headshot of Andrew Gramza

In November 2010, at the age of 21, Andrew Gramza was in a tragic car accident and spent time at ECMC in the trauma unit where he received excellent care and numerous blood transfusions.

Upon his passing, Andrew became a tissue donor and his family’s connection to ConnectLife (then Unyts) began. Prior to his death, Andrew had been a regular blood donor with ConnectLife and was a registered organ and tissue donor. This instilled in his family the idea that they must somehow continue Andrew’s legacy, and as a result Andrew's Army was formed to raise awareness for organ, eye, tissue and blood donation. Many people have donated blood for the first time in Andrew's name, and others have become registered organ and tissue donors in his memory.

Since the inception of Andrew’s Army, they have collected 1484 units of blood for local hospitals and have raised over $84,000 for ConnectLife.  

Eric Fontaine

Headshot of Eric Fontaine

Eric’s infectious laugh, fun personality and easy-going spirit endeared him to everyone he met.


Eric passed away at the age of 21 after a motorcycle accident that occurred on May 17, 2013. He was in the Air Force Reserves 914th Civil Engineer Squad. He was a registered organ donor and his tissues went on to help many patients in need after his passing.  

Eric’s family has received two letters of gratitude from recipients of his tissue. Though they miss him every day, the knowledge that Eric helped people he never met offers his family comfort. The family held Eric’s first “Angelversary” in May of 2014 and continues to honor him every year with a blood drive, Chinese Auction, and raffles. Blood drives in Eric’s name have collected over 170 units of blood.

Jody Gavin

Jody Gavin, Axel, and her husband

Jody Gavin was in the hospital needing blood transfusions after giving birth to her first child, Axel, on April 8, 2020. This was in the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic when the local blood supply was dangerously low. Thankfully, Jody was able to get the 12 blood transfusions (roughly 36 pints of blood) she needed to survive the ordeal through ConnectLife.

Jody and her husband, Karl wanted to give back and host a blood drive to help replenish the blood supply in WNY and encourage people to get out to donate. They decided to host a drive in honor of their son Axel's first birthday, where four local donors met the entire family. On April 10, 2021, a group of local heroes and a thankful family gathered to celebrate life and community blood donation.

Chad Zawistowski

Chad Zawistowski

In March of 2021, Chad was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. He fought the fight for nine months showing the world including his two sweet little boys how incredibly strong he was and to never give up.

Sadly, Chad lost his battle to cancer on November 13, 2021.

Along his journey his friends and family learned so much, especially how critical blood donations are for cancer patients. Just how a small portion of your day to donate blood could help so many. Be a warrior, donate blood in Chad's honor.

Kristina Moley

Kristina Moley

Kristina Moley was a vibrant, outgoing and energetic 19-year-old young lady who loved life. She loved shoes, fashion, animals, and her friends. Most importantly was her love and affection for her family. She was to be a sophomore at St. John Fisher College when she lost her life on July 21, 2009 in a tragic car accident involving alcohol, her boyfriend being the driver.

As an avid blood donor, she expressed to her family that she wanted to be an organ donor if the unthinkable should ever happen. She wanted to make a difference in someone's life and therefore she gave the ultimate gift.


Kristina’s family honors her legacy and memory by speaking about DWI and its consequences. They are accompanied by her boyfriend, convicted of Vehicular Manslaughter, and his mother. It is the Moleys’ goal to finish what Kristina has started. They speak about their personal experience of losing a daughter as well as sponsoring a memorial blood drive in Kristina's honor, while also promoting the importance of organ donation. ConnectLife has given the Moley family personal support while offering them a chance to keep Kristina’s memory alive. Since 2012, blood drives in Kristina’s name have collected over 400 units of blood.

Brandon Kupiec

Brandon Kupiec

Brandon started donating blood at the age of 16 and often would donate blood together with his mother at DeGraff hospital where she worked.  Sadly, Brandon had an untimely death at the age of 20 in 2013.  His family now works to exemplify his passion by holding large community blood drives in his honor each year.  

They created a group called “Because of Brandon” which promotes the importance of blood donation in WNY. They hold annual blood drives in Brandon’s name at the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company every August, which have collected over 338 units. Now known to be Niagara County’s largest blood drive. Over 100 family members, friends and community members support this effort yearly.


These events include a large fundraiser, with proceeds to benefit a Scholarship in Brandon’s name awarded to a graduating high school student that is pursuing a career in welding, and ConnectLife, to aide in the education and awareness of blood donation.

Alison (Ali) Waclawek 

Ali Waclawek

Alison was a uniquely remarkable individual who enriched the lives of everyone she met. She brought so much love and light into this world that can never be replaced. Alison possessed a magnetism that drew anyone and everyone to her no matter what she was doing. She was able to lead an extraordinary life in such a short period of time.

Alison was an NFL cheerleader with the Buffalo Jills and traveled to visit United States troops in the Middle East. She attended D’Youville College School of Pharmacy where she participated in service trips to Haiti and Uganda.


Alison was in the middle of a budding career as a Supervising Pharmacist at Walgreens where she gave back by precepting the next generation of student pharmacists. Tragically, at 31 years old, Alison passed away during the birth of her first child, Ada, due to an Amniotic Fluid Embolism. In the operating room, multiple pints of donated blood were used in an attempt to save her life. Her family and friends founded the Alison Rose Foundation to honor her memory and continue her legacy. The Alison Rose Foundation has held memorial blood drives with Connect Life yearly, averaging collecting over 115 units of blood/event. Through these blood drives Alison continues to have a positive impact on her community, and she will never be forgotten.   

Team Fleetwood

Scott, debbie, and emily fleetwood

In 2013 Scott Fleetwood was diagnosed with a rare disease, Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (among other things). After four years of various treatments, for a disease that has no known cure, by some of the best doctors in Western New York, it was determined a double lung transplant might be his last chance for survival. Scott received his life saving double lung transplant in 2017.

Today, Scott, along with his family and friends, known as “Team Fleetwood”, get together to organize and host “Special” blood drives. Blood drives that are for people like Scott that have received an organ transplant or people that are sick or have been sick and have received numerous blood transfusions, etc.

Originally intended to be in honor of Scott’s anonymous organ donor, Team Fleetwood and ConnectLife host blood drives a number of times a year, either at the Fleetwood home or at their local ConnectLife Donation Center. Team Fleetwood Blood drives always include refreshments and giveaways, but the Fleetwood Home blood drives include basket raffles, which have raised over $1,000 for ConnectLife. In their first year, their drives collected nearly 100 units of blood.

Team Fleetwood wishes to inspire others in the community to host their own blood drive if they have been touched by donation and feel passionate about helping to give back!

Gabrielle Heidinger

Gabrielle Heidinger and her family.jpg

On June 22nd, 2022, Gabrielle Heidinger gave birth to her son Vincent. During and after her delivery, she experienced severe complications, including postpartum hemorrhage, multiple surgeries, and ultimately required a hysterectomy. During her hospitalization, Gabrielle received 30 units of blood products that saved her life.

Gabrielle has been a part of ConnectLife since high school where she was a member of (formerly) UNYTS Club. She is an RN in the Medical Intensive Care Unit (MICU) and works alongside ConnectLife with patients who become organ donors. Gabrielle used to be a blood donor, but unfortunately cannot donate anymore. With the help of her husband, friends and family, Gabrielle’s goal is to give back the 30 units that allowed her to survive and watch her children grow up.

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