JSC’s blood drive on March 22 yielded 133 pints of blood, the most for a spring semester drive since 1990.
The impressive turnout belied the warm, sunny day that was competition for people’s attention. “With a 60-degree day in March, I think everyone who had free time was outside,” said blood drive volunteer Elizabeth Spier. “I am also aware that several students who signed up to donate or volunteer did not show, and were outside exercising or getting some sun. I can’t say I blame them,” According to blood drive coordinator Tara Robinson, there is a critical need for O- and B- blood in Vermont. Giving a pint of blood can save up to three adult lives or seven children. “Because blood only has a shelf life of about 30 days, it is a supply that continually needs to be updated,” said Robinson. “They need people to continually be coming in and donating blood to go to local blood banks and hospitals.”
The blood donating process is fairly simple. The Red Cross asks the donor a series of questions which the prospective donor must answer and an iron test is given to determine the donor’s ability to give blood that day. “It’s ok to be nervous, but everything you can give could help up to three people. If sitting in a chair for fifteen minutes can save someone else’s life, it’s hard to say no,” Spier said.
There are other ways to help if one is not able to donate blood. “I chose to volunteer because I believe that donating blood truly makes a difference. Every day hundreds of people require blood transfusions and both volunteering at the blood drive and donating blood help this cause,” Spier said.
Student resident assistant Todd Loskutoff’s acronym for this semester’s blood drive was S.A.V.E.D. Support a friend after the drive by thanking him or her; Accompany a friend to the drive; Volunteer at the drive; Encourage others to get involved; and Donate blood at the drive.
Loskutoff takes donating blood seriously. “Donating blood instills pride and a sense of humility in me that I look forward to twice a year,” he said. “I will probably never meet the people who receive my blood, but this anonymity doesn’t at all tarnish what I have come to regard as an invaluable gesture.”
Another student, Kassidee Keefe, also has strong feelings about donating. “I feel that it is my duty to donate blood,” she said. “I know this sounds silly but I cannot help but think that if one day I needed blood did I ever give any? This spring was my first JSC blood drive but I plan to participate in as many as I can throughout my four years here. I also do it because I know there is a major blood shortage,” said Keefe. “I feel that if you are able and want to give blood it is something that you should research and look into because it really is for a great cause and one pint of blood saves someone’s life”