Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood; however, only five percent of the eligible population donates blood in any given year.
Luckily, two of Quinnipiac’s student organizations were aware of this Red Cross statistic and were willing to take action.
On Tuesday, Oct. 26 and Wednesday, Oct. 27, TKE and Community Action Project (CAP) in conjunction with the American Red Cross, held their bi-annual blood drive in Alumni Hall.
Due to the national blood shortage, donation is crucial to save lives.
According to the American Red Cross website (www.redcross.org), “We all expect blood to be there for us [in a time of need], but barely a fraction of those who can give do.”
Liz Clancy, junior nursing major, participated in the TKE/CAP blood drive and told why she decided to donate.
“Since I’ve been inside hospitals, I have seen the great need for blood,” Clancy said.
Many people are unaware of who receives the blood that is donated.
The American Red Cross states that hospitals, victims of natural disasters and even the United States military will receive the blood that is collected at blood drives. Donors can save lives.
Although these great benefits of blood donation are known, there are still many reasons that people are unwilling to give blood.
“I’m deathly afraid of needles,” Kristin Pirolli, senior physical therapy major, said.
“I think donating blood is a great thing. Unfortunately it’s not as easy for some as it is for others. Some people are scared of needles so their fear makes it hard for them to donate blood no matter how much they want to,” Rebecca Noyes, senior physical therapy major said.
Thankfully, over 300 of Quinnipiac’s community put aside their fears and volunteered to give blood.
Although approximately 150 people were ineligible due to low iron levels, new tattoos or various other reasons, the Red Cross will still be able to save nearly 500 lives with the 150 pints of blood that were received.
Quinnipiac students were lined up to donate.
When Dan Cullen, freshman physician assistant major, was asked why he decided to donate blood, he said, “I have given before, and it feels good to give to someone in need.”
Cullen also stated that his mother gives blood regularly, and that she set an example that he is happy to follow.
Unfortunately, not all volunteers are regulars like Cullen; most are first-time blood donors.
Melissa Rossi, account manager with the American Red Cross, states that it is beneficial to hold blood drives on college campuses. This gives the Red Cross the ability to “tap into new donors,” and ideally most of these donors will continue to give blood in the future.
“It is helpful to hold blood drives in the fall because it is before the temperature gets cold, the holiday season, and everyone gets sick,” Rossi said.
Regardless of weather, blood is always in need. Fortunately, you can help. By becoming a donor, you will help ensure that there is enough blood to help save cancer victims, children, those protecting our nation overseas, and many more!
For those that have an interest in blood donation, please call 1-800-GIVE-LIFE. The New Haven Chapter of the Red Cross also holds blood drives every Friday from 12:45-1:45 p.m. at 703 Whitney Avenue. Interested persons can also visit www.givelife.org.