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MetLife Foundation Partners with New York Blood Center to Introduce 'Donor Coach' to New York Boroughs
Date:6/20/2008

Unique Commitment to Reach Areas with Low Donation Rates, Encourage New York Blood Donor Diversity

LONG ISLAND CITY, N.Y., June 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New York Blood Center (NYBC), the nation's largest community-based, non-profit, independent blood services center, today launched a mobile blood "donor coach," funded by a $160,000 grant from MetLife Foundation. The bright red coach prominently features Snoopy, MetLife's mascot, making it an eye-catching reminder, in the communities it serves, of the importance of blood donation.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080620/DC25653 )

The coach will allow NYBC to reach communities in the five New York City boroughs with historically low donation rates, but whose blood is critically needed to help those suffering from a variety of health conditions, including sickle cell anemia, thalassemia and leukemia.

"MetLife has a long history of extraordinary support and commitment to increase donations from all communities, improve donor convenience, and save lives," said Dr. Robert Jones, President and CEO of NYBC. "We're just thrilled to have Snoopy on board!"

"MetLife and MetLife Foundation are proud of their support of NYBC through the years," said William J. Mullaney, President, Institutional Business, MetLife, who serves as the Chairman of the New York Blood Center's Volunteer Leadership Campaign, and was executive sponsor of MetLife's Blood and Bone Marrow donation program for many years. "Our goals are the same -- to increase blood donations and blood research efforts. By traveling throughout the five boroughs, this new donor coach will help make it easier for New Yorkers to donate blood."

For the past 60 years, MetLife has been an active participant and supporter of NYBC's blood drives. The company regularly sponsors employee blood drives, and has also provided leadership, time, and money to the cause. Other MetLife/MetLife Foundation -- NYBC partnerships include:

-- In 2005, MetLife donated space for a donor site at 200 Park Avenue, one

of the most expensive and well-traveled commercial building in

Manhattan.

-- Since 1998, MetLife Foundation has supported the MetLife Foundation Rare

Blood Research Initiative. The Initiative, which builds on previous

research supported by the Foundation, conducts research to improve

identification of compatible blood for patients with rare blood,

especially within diverse ethnic groups, and to make transfusion

medicine safer.

-- MetLife created the Skyscrapers for Life program in 1997, which engages

commercial multi-tenant buildings to run blood drives and generates

thousands of donations annually.

-- In 1996, MetLife worked with the New York Yankees to develop the High

School Blood Donor Championships, in which high school students

challenge other students in local blood drives. Over the years, the

program has raised hundreds of thousands of pints.

-- MetLife has been recognized by the American Association of Blood Banks,

Association of Donor Recruitment Professionals, and America's Blood

Centers for donor recruitment excellence and commitment.

-- In the 1980s, MetLife became the first major corporation to reach an

annual donation rate of one pint of blood per employee.

About New York Blood Center

New York Blood Center (NYBC), one of the nation's largest non-profit, community-based blood centers, has been providing blood, transfusion products and services to patients in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut hospitals since 1964. NYBC is also home to the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute and the National Cord Blood Program at the Howard P. Milstein National Cord Blood Center, the world's first and largest public cord blood bank. NYBC provides medical services and programs (Clinical, Transfusion and Hemophilia Services) through our medical professionals and transfusion medicine physicians. Information is available at http://www.nybloodcenter.org.

About MetLife

MetLife is a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET), a leading provider of insurance and financial services with operations throughout the United States and the Latin America, Europe, and Asia Pacific regions. Through its domestic and international subsidiaries and affiliates, MetLife, Inc. reaches more than 70 million customers around the world and MetLife is the largest life insurer in the United States (based on life insurance in-force). The MetLife companies offer life insurance, annuities, auto and home insurance, retail banking and other financial services to corporations and other institutions. For more information, please visit http://www.metlife.com.

About MetLife Foundation

MetLife Foundation was established in 1976 by MetLife to carry on its longstanding tradition of corporate contributions and community involvement. Grants support education, health, civic and cultural programs. For more information about the Foundation, visit http://www.metlife.org.


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SOURCE MetLife Foundation
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