Blood drive boosts much-needed regional supplies

Drew Bressel

Blood Drive promo on The Rock

The Oct. 27 blood couldn’t have been more timely. According to Graduate Assistant Tara Robinson, who coordinated the blood drive at JSC, donations were down regionally about 200 units in October.

Last Thursday’s drive yielded 138 pints, which while short of last fall’s drive total of 154 units, will still be a big help.

Robinson says that the need for blood is constant because blood has a limited shelf life of only about 42 days. To meet the demand, blood is distributed to hospitals within 24 hours.

Robinson noted that hosting a blood drive provides an opportunity for students to support their campus and the surrounding community. In recent years, Johnson State College has played an important role in augmenting existing stores of blood. “Johnson State College hosts one of the biggest blood drives in the State of Vermont,” said Robinson, noting that most of the blood collected would go to hospitals.

A steady flow of volunteer donors participated in the JSC blood drive. “It’s my duty to donate blood because my sister became ill and needed blood,” said Michaela Morris.

For donor Steven Smith, the act of donating proved satisfying on multiple levels. “It makes me feel good to donate because someone else needs my blood,” he said.

Maintaining adequate supplies of blood is only one of the Red Cross’s many priorities, one that can be particularly daunting according to Red Cross representative Wendy Ellis. “It is always a battle to keep up with the needs of blood donations,” she said.